Bay Area Bike Share debuts today
System goes live with 700 bikes at 70 stations in five cities
SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — The Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and its project partners today announce the launch of the Bay Area Bike Share pilot program. Beginning today, the public will have access to shared bicycles 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at specific locations within the cities of San Francisco, Redwood City, Palo Alto, Mountain View and San Jose.
The Bay Area Bike Share pilot is a part of the MTC’s Initiatives Program and the Air District’s Transportation Fund for Clean Air program, which tests innovative projects for their ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. The Air District initiated this effort in 2010 and has contributed $2.8 million to launch this project. Touted as a “last mile solution”, the goal of the bike sharing pilot program is to make it more convenient for Bay Area residents to take public transit without taking their own bike on the system, and then use bike share bicycles to reach their final destination resulting in reduced air pollution in the areas served.
The cost of the full pilot totals $11.2 million, and is funded using Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality ($7.1 million), Transportation Fund for Clean Air ($2.8 million) and other local funds ($1.3 million). The program is managed by the Air District in partnership with MTC and local partners.
“We’re excited to announce the launch of this pioneering regional bike share program,” said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Air District. “This system brings it all together and makes connecting from public transportation to the workplace or other destination simple, convenient and fun.”
Membership rates to join Bay Area Bike Share are $88 for an annual pass, $22 for a three-day pass and $9 for a daily pass. Each pass provides for unlimited trips during the membership period, with no additional cost for the first 30 minutes of each trip. Trips that exceed 30 minutes will incur surcharges. Annual memberships are available for sale at www.bayareabikeshare.com.
“The launch of Bay Area Bike Share is the first step in our city’s efforts to build a world-class bike share system for San Francisco,” said San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee. “Bay Area Bike Share will give San Francisco’s residents and visitors access to a bike when they want one. It’s an easy, convenient, affordable and healthy transportation option that we’re eager to add to our transportation network, and we look forward to seeing Bay Area Bike Share transform the way we move around San Francisco.”
The pilot will launch in two phases. The first phase is deploying today, August 29, 2013, with 700 bikes. For the second phase of the pilot, it is anticipated that 300 additional bikes and 30 kiosks will be added in the first quarter 2014 to reach the full pilot complement of 1,000 bikes and 100 stations.
“We are excited to participate in the Bay Area Bike Share pilot program and offer San Jose residents another convenient way to get around downtown and to/from our public transit hubs,” Mayor Chuck Reed said. “This type of program has the potential to get more cars off the road, reduce traffic congestion and promote a healthier and more vibrant community.”
The kiosk stations are located near transit hubs, high-density residential areas and key destination points such as employment centers and universities, making it easier to quickly and conveniently connect to and from transit and to make short-distance trips by bike. Bike sharing will also help to reduce the need to take bikes on board regional and local transit – relieving congestion on those systems.
“Bicycles are a great way to attract new customers who now find transit is an option for them to cover the long distances from the train or the bus to their office. And it allows them to skip a transfer to other systems to reach their destinations,” said Michael J. Scanlon, CEO/general manager for the San Mateo County Transit District. “Bikeshare provides an option for transit operators who struggle to provide enough bicycle capacity and an incentive for new riders to take advantage of commute alternatives.”
In addition to the Air District and MTC, the pilot project is a partnership among local government agencies including the City and County of San Francisco, SamTrans, Caltrain, the County of San Mateo, the City of Redwood City and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority.
In the Bay Area, the transportation sector accounts for more than 50 percent of overall air pollution. Significant emission reductions from the transportation sector will help the Bay Area attain and maintain state and national air quality standards and reduce greenhouse gases.
Bay Area residents and visitors can learn more about the bike share system at www.bayareabikeshare.com, facebook.com/bayareabikeshare and sfbayareabikeshare (twitter).
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is the regional agency responsible for protecting air quality in the nine-county Bay Area. For more information, visit www.baaqmd.gov.
MTC is the transportation planning, coordinating and financing agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area, and operates the region’s 511 traveler information system.
The project partners who have joined together to launch this effort include:
Air District Caltrain MTC The County of San Mateo City and Co. of SF The City of Redwood City SamTrans Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority
SOURCE The Bay Area Air Quality Management District