http://mv-voice.com/square/print/2012/05/10/city-wins-grant-to-launch-nine-bike-sharing-stations


Town Square

City wins grant to launch nine bike-sharing stations

Original post made on May 10, 2012

By early fall Mountain View will join the ranks of such cities as Paris, Barcelona and London in having its own bike-sharing network, which will place up to 117 bikes at stations around the city.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, May 10, 2012, 12:05 PM

Comments

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Posted by Mister Falcon
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 10, 2012 at 1:19 pm

So... steal a credit card, get a free bike.


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Posted by USA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 10, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Abe-Koga said. "For all the pride we take in being cutting edge and progressive ... why not try it? There's not a lot of skin we're putting into this."

Classic. Abe-Koga is always a sure source of comedy.

Margaret, let me help you understand. We the taxpayers take money we have earned with our own two hands and give it to someone else. Whether it is federal, state, or local governments does not matter. Yet, for some bizarre reason you and your ilk in local government and in the school districts believe that state and federal grants are free money.


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Posted by bkengland
a resident of Whisman Station
on May 10, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Great news! Any reasonable steps our city can take to move us from a 1950s-style, car-centric focus are in the best interest of us all.


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Posted by Over Priced Bikes
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 10, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Let me get this straight. For $4.3 Million dollars we are getting 1000 bicycles. That works out to $4300 per bicycle.

I can buy a bicycle for $100 at Performance Bicycle or Walmart.

This is our government at it's best?

Congratulations City Council, you make $1000 hammers look like a bargain!


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Posted by Steve
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 10, 2012 at 2:42 pm

$4,300,000.00 divided by 1,000 bikes =$4300/bike. Isn't that just a LITTLE absurd? It's so ridiculous that I had to check my arithmetic 4 times.


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Posted by @ USA
a resident of Waverly Park
on May 10, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Actually "USA", Abe-Koga is saying that why shouldn't Mountain View try this system. Our citizens have paid for it, 5 cities in the area WILL get it...why shouldn't it be us?
The City is not being asked to pay MORE money than has already been put out.

I am surprised that you cannot understand her. Certainly not sure SHE is the one who needs a little help understanding.


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Posted by @ Steve
a resident of Gemello
on May 10, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Steve,

Check your math one more time....you have forgotten all the actual stations, credit card machines, etc. More than just bikes laying on a street to pick up.


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Posted by Croc Dundee
a resident of another community
on May 10, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Did anyone explore how well this works in Paris? 80% of the $3,500 each bicycles damaged or stolen.

From: <Web Link;
"But this latest French utopia has met a prosaic reality: Many of the specially designed bikes, which, when the system's startup and maintenance expenses are included, cost $3,500 each, are showing up on black markets in Eastern Europe and northern Africa. Many others are being spirited away for urban joy rides, then ditched by roadsides, their wheels bent and tires stripped.

With 80 percent of the initial 20,600 bicycles stolen or damaged, the program's organizers have had to hire several hundred people just to fix them. And along with the dent in the city-subsidized budget has been a blow to the Parisian psyche."


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Posted by commuter
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 10, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Anyone else think that 117 rental bikes spread around the whole city is way to small a number? What happens if you get off a train and there are no more bicycles available? You have to call a cab to drive you the last 2 miles to work?


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Posted by Kman
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 10, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Our trains, our road ways are in disrepair and barely managing there finances to stay alive and money is wasted on this?

What moron is in charge of finances?

Ron it, your totally out of reality, cars are our past and our future.

What needs to happen is to make the roadways bigger.

Just like a childs veins and arteries need to expand as the body grows, the same with our road ways. Since we do not have enough space to house everyone, there needs to be better roads in and out of this area.


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Posted by Mike
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 10, 2012 at 3:19 pm

As someone who walks to and from Caltrain every day - AND as someone who has used this service in Barcelona - I'm thrilled. The people who are against this are clueless how it works...and are typical Californians who just like to complain about everything. This is a good move and makes sense for us walkers/train riders. It's nice to know if I need a bike quickly, I have one at my disposal...I don't have to use my $2500 road bike.


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Posted by Otto Maddox
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 10, 2012 at 3:24 pm

$4.3 million just gets things started.

Someone will have to maintain those stations and the bikes. All salaries that needs to be paid.. probably get benefits.. maybe even pension.

The $4300 per bike will look like a bargain 5 years from now when the plug is finally pulled on this fiasco.


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Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 10, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Has anyone heard of ZIP car? Similar system with autos. The Barcelona system seemed to be working when I was there 2 years ago (but don't know finances or maintenance) . It was not clear those had GPS. But think - lower tech. There are a bunch of bike racks - with net controlled locks. There are RFID tags to read the IDs of the bikes in the racks. You pre-register with the service. You either 'show-up' and get an 'un-reserved' bike station to open up, or you reserve over a smart phone app. Reserved ? No one gets the bike until YOU show up and claim it. Don't claim it - YOU should get charged double on your credit card.
I'm sure there is IP on this, but hey, don't we of all the world citizens know how to wage patent WARS? There must be a dozen variants of this system that could be tried. The last two miles to GOOGLE! That's where the golden miles are in the TRANSIT MESS at SHORELINE.
Thanks to the Bike and Pedestrian Committee!!!!


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Posted by Wondering
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 10, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Who provides the helments?


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Posted by ral
a resident of another community
on May 10, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Thanks for the article. That figure seems to be 40K per bike, not 4K

For info on people using voluntary Libertarian tools on similar and other issues, please see the non-partisan Libertarian International Organization @ Web Link ...


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Posted by Jarrett
a resident of Castro City
on May 10, 2012 at 3:44 pm

This is a step in the right direction. We'll need more bikes, but for now, this is a good start.

@Croc–

Paris was an early system that had issues with the dock design and accountability measures. Early adopter syndrome. You can't ignore the phenomenal success of North American systems such as Hubway in Boston, Capital Bike Share in DC, and Nice Ride in Minneapolis.

In over two years of operation with 1,200 bikes Nice Ride in Minneapolis had 1 theft. The 1000+ bike system in DC has lost less than 5 bikes.

Web Link

@Kman

It's not 1955 anymore. The vision of Bob Moses and Le Corbusier is dead. Yeah, we could probably build our way out of congestion with new freeways, expressways and massive parking garages. But the impacts are huge– neighborhood divisions, pollution issues, noise issues, not to mention cost. Additionally, with obesity and other ailments stemming from a sedentary lifestyle on the rise, the last thing we need is more inactive and isolating transportation design. This is not the direction we need to be heading in for a future population that will be older and less able to drive.


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Posted by kman
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 10, 2012 at 4:32 pm

@ Jerret,

Not exactly sure how you get Moses and Corbusier in on this, but that doesn't matter.

You are think about vehicles from the past, that is not the future, electric cars are. No noise or pollution while you are waiting at the drive thru for your hamburgers.

Costs, this is what this thing is about, the cost of this is much bigger then just the initial cost, as previous comments said.

"for a future population that will be older and less able to drive." Well if the older folks won't be able to drive, how do you think they will be able to ride a bike? Illogical. Peoples love affair with cars will never end.

PS, a lot of drivers today are not obese.


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Posted by Steve
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 10, 2012 at 5:14 pm

About a year ago the city posted 'Bike Boulevard' signs (complete with a miniature stop sign for the bicyclists!)and painted 'Bike Boulevard' markings on the streets around the Sylvan area. I wondered aloud: "what kind of scam is this?"
Looks like we found the answer. And yes, the figure is $4300/bike. The overhead is an inseperable part of the pork. Anyone beleive the fees will really cover the expenses? How about some some numbers to back that statement up? Think about the number of workers required to maintain the bikes and equipment, multiply that by the typical civil servant wage/benefit package, and add a layer of management.

Someone posted the opinion here earlier that since the money was being spent anyway, we should be the ones to take it. Have our principles gotten that far off track?


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Posted by OMV Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 10, 2012 at 10:10 pm

@kman -

"What needs to happen is to make the roadways bigger.

Just like a childs veins and arteries need to expand as the body grows, the same with our road ways. Since we do not have enough space to house everyone, there needs to be better roads in and out of this area."

OK, kman - if this is the solution, I propose that we start by widening the road in front of your house. Let's go for 4 more lanes, because after all, roads need to grow just like a child's veins, and we'll always need room to expand. Sorry if it chops off your front yard or requires a sound wall against your front door or rattles your windows with the noise and vibration of all those lovely cars.


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Posted by Jarrett
a resident of Castro City
on May 10, 2012 at 11:14 pm

@kman–

lol... "Vehicles from the past" The electric automobile is over 100 years old. What makes modern automobility possible are land use decisions (the places we can get to and parking mandates) and public infrastructure investments (roads and highways). Electric cars don't fix the problem of cars and the massive infrastructure needed to accommodate them– congestion, expensive parking garages, neighborhoods chopped up, bisected, trisected with bigger and bigger roads. When will it end? That impact will never go away, no matter what technology propels the conveyance.

As for Moses and Corbusier, they were some of the most instrumental figures in the creation of the car-oriented city. For them, the only priority was perpetual mobility, faster and faster, all at the expense of people and places. Their tunnel vision has cost us dearly.

Old people bike all the time when the infrastructure is designed properly and proper policy is in place. Sure you have to go outside this country for precedents, but it's nothing that's unique to a certain culture, climate, or social class. It could be done here if we wanted.

Back to bike share though– it's good and we need more stations. They'll be good mitigation measures for future large developments.


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Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 11, 2012 at 11:01 am

@Jarrett, Dude - you suffer some of what I do, you have a lot of background on this public policy area, and most of us will be left in the dust! Thanks for link and the 'beta' systems for bike share systems in th US. BTW "Robert Moses" was the subject of an entire multihour documentary on the ramming of freeways through the middle of some New York City neighborhoods. Great if you held road constructon stock (or GM), but it trashed a bunch of neighborhoods. [RM also has a definitive biograpy by Cato, who also studied LBJ] Local case: SF's Embarcadero Freeway. It's demise allows a more human scale waterfront.
A 'bike system' (or a 'golf course system') can be EITHER municipal or private concession. There are several cab companies with concessions here- NONE of them have public employees! [we relly need more educated Libertarians like John Inks!]


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Posted by Steve
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 11, 2012 at 2:18 pm

100% in favor of privately operated systems, whatever the overhead. If somone wants to risk their own capital attempting to operate a $4300 per unit bicycle sharing program, more power to them!
But please don't rob me via the tax man and then squander my hard earned dollars on some pea-brained fantasy.


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Posted by James
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 11, 2012 at 5:46 pm

Who provides the helments?


this will be another 3 - Million dollars that we will have to pay for
down the road!

.........stupid idea to start with


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Posted by Doug
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 11, 2012 at 5:51 pm

lol... "Vehicles from the past" The electric automobile is over 100 years old. What makes modern automobility possible are land use decisions (the places we can get to and parking mandates) and public infrastructure investments (roads and highways). Electric cars don't fix the problem of cars and the massive infrastructure needed to accommodate them– congestion, expensive parking garages, neighborhoods chopped up, bisected, trisected with bigger and bigger roads. When will it end? That impact will never go away, no matter what technology propels the conveyance.


so would you rather all of us use Hot Air Balloon to travel?


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Posted by Jen
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 11, 2012 at 7:35 pm

This is so boutique. It alleviates liberal angst for a small minority.

Money to burn.


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Posted by Donald
a resident of another community
on May 12, 2012 at 5:31 pm

The management and maintenance will be contracted out to a private firm that is expected to cover its expenses with user fees and/or advertising after the pilot program has ended. The bikes can have ads on the baskets and wheelcovers, and the stations can have ads on the pedestals, just as we see on buses and bus stops.

See Web Link


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Posted by Scott Lamb
a resident of Whisman Station
on May 13, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Are there really a lot of people taking public transit or cars to get to downtown Mountain View and then wanting to bike around town?

I would think there are more people who live nearby and want to bike the whole way, on their own bikes. I'm one of them. All I really want is some decent bicycle parking downtown so I can stop at a restaurant. There's almost nothing. That's why I just signed this petition: Web Link Installing some highly-visible bike racks and publicizing them would be a lot cheaper than this new program.


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Posted by Donald
a resident of another community
on May 14, 2012 at 5:50 pm

Scott Lamb, the answer to your question is YES, but your second point is also correct. These are not either/or, both are needed. They serve different segments of the population. VTA did a lot of market research before starting this program, so they have a good idea of the demand that is out there.