Mountain View Voice

News - January 1, 2010

City will test bike share program

by Kelsey Mesher

Mountain View could be among three transportation hubs to test out a new bike share program this spring, thanks to a $500,000 grant the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority secured earlier this month.

"It's a conceptual project at this point," said Jennie Loft, VTA spokesperson. "There aren't a lot of details."

VTA officials estimated that there will be about 100 bikes available through the program to start. The VTA is conducting a feasibility study before a pilot program can be implemented in 2010. The VTA said in a statement that its initial findings are that more than half of those they surveyed would use a sharing program if it was made available.

The basic idea for the project is to make bicycles accessible to anyone who wants to use them — without the hassle or worry of bike parking or theft. Bicycles would be made available at three VTA transit centers — Mountain View, Palo Alto and San Jose — with pods or bike sharing stations scattered within a three-mile radius of each.

The transit centers were chosen because of their high ridership and frequent overcrowding on trains.

"It's more about the commute versus going to the grocery store," Loft said. "They can just kind of leave one (bike) behind and then catch up at the other side."

Bike sharing is relatively new in the United States. The VTA said it will be looking at models in Paris and Montreal, where bike sharing is more popular, and will continue to work with partners like the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee as it plans for the spring launch.

The $500,000 grant is funded by $1 bridge toll increases made by Regional Measure 2. The "Safe Routes to Transit" grant, as it is called, was awarded by TransForm, a Bay Area nonprofit that "works to create world-class public transportation and walkable communities" according it's Web site. The grant was approved by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission on Dec. 16.

E-mail Kelsey Mesher at kmesher@mv-voice.com ?? ?? ?? ??

Comments

There are no comments yet for this post

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Choose a category: *

Since this is the first comment on this story a new topic will also be started in Town Square! Please choose a category that best describes this story.

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields