Mountain View Voice

News - November 5, 2010

Mountain View pilots bike-sharing program

Mountain View will be among five lead-off cities next year in California's first regional bicycle-sharing program. Other initially participating cities include Palo Alto, San Francisco, Redwood City and San Jose.

The program is set to debut in the Bay Area in 2011 with the help of multi-million dollar grants from local transportation organizations.

In late 2011, about 1,000 bikes at 100 kiosks will be installed throughout the Bay Area, including 50 in San Francisco. The project will receive about $4.3 million from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and $1.4 million from other partners.

Another $1.3 million will come from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, which is managing the project.

"Transportation is really one of the major sources of air pollution in the Bay Area," said Aaron Richardson, spokesman for the management district. "Any way that we can get motor vehicles to reduce emissions is something that we look at."

Richardson said the initiative will work like a car-sharing program, where registered users could use smart cards or rent the bikes with credit cards.

"These would be bikes you would use for a short trip to complete a BART ride," he said. "It's not like a bike you'd be renting for the weekend."

San Francisco's Municipal Railway (Muni) is one of the partners in the pilot bicycle program.

"Our goals are to put public transit first," Muni spokesman Paul Rose said.

"This will help expand our transportation options not only in the city but throughout the Bay Area, whether people are working or visiting," he said.

The program is still in its early stages, with organizers looking for bicycle vendors to help implement it, Richardson said.

Bay City News Service

Comments

Posted by mv citizen, a resident of Castro City
on Nov 4, 2010 at 5:54 pm

So we decided to solve a regional transportation problem with a transportation vehicle that was designed in 1885 A.D. The bicycle is the most efficient means of transportation ever invented. It is also great exercise.
This is actually a great idea. The only problem is that Mountain View is particularly bicycle unfriendly. Riding a bicycle through our fine city is great, but where do you park you bike when you reach your destination?


Posted by GC, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Nov 6, 2010 at 9:04 am

The problem with bicycles are vandals, theft and bike maintenance. Add rental into the equation and now there is limited availability. 1000 bikes helps out the first lucky 1000 people. We are not a big city like SF. If i pick up a bike at Mtn View Caltrain where do I drop it off? I will be stuck paying for it for the day.


Posted by Kristine, a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 6, 2010 at 1:54 pm

There would be multiple stations where the bikes would to taken and left at. This sort of program has been successful around the world so the concept is well tested. A common trick to avoid vandalism is to use very custom style bikes that make the parts useless to sell off. Plus I'm sure the program will have the ability would notice who doesn't return bikes.


Posted by Bill, a resident of Cuernavaca
on Nov 7, 2010 at 6:34 pm

I cant think of two places where I would want to ride a bike to in Mountain View. Downtown is so small and the main street is unsafe for bikes. Maybe to Sunnyvale


Posted by cyclocross fanatic, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 8, 2010 at 3:01 pm

this is great to see. I've used rentals like these with much success in europe. the key will be to make sure the bikes are reliable, weather-friendly and available. i'd love to see places like hidden villa and shoreline park and amphitheatre really take advantage of the caltrain to bike to destination options to attract more folks.

can you imagine how easy it would be to attend a concert down at shoreline? skip the traffic, parking, and wheel right up to the door on a bike you don't own. that's awesome. hope there's a lot to make it convenient, easy, and reliable.


Posted by Pat, a resident of Rex Manor
on Nov 8, 2010 at 7:33 pm

@ cyclocross fanatic --

Actually, no I don't see anyone riding to a Shoreline concert unless other things change. I have tried to get my wife to ride to her work on the bay side of 101. She won't because all routes across 101 between shoreline and san antonio are very unfriendly for bicyclists.

When they redid the Shoreline-101 intersection they made the south side of shoreline hostile to ped/bike esp. kids and casual bicyclists ( like my wife).

Furthermore the city needs to include a ped/bike plan in the concert and event planning. For example, the 4th of July fireworks do everything possible to discourage people walking to the event by making it so that peds are forced on to the sidewalks after the event so that cars can get out. So bicyclists are force to walk their bikes.



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