Town Square

Post a New Topic

New ideas to bring bike-sharing back to Mountain View

Original post made on Oct 3, 2017

Last year, by just one vote, the City Council decided to let the Bike Share program die off rather than pay $1.1 million to keep it afloat. In hindsight, that appears to have been the right move.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, October 3, 2017, 1:56 PM

Comments (32)

88 people like this
Posted by Jean
a resident of Gemello
on Oct 3, 2017 at 2:15 pm

"just left wherever is convenient around town"

Don't we already have a program like this? Google bikes are all over the place.


4 people like this
Posted by Darin
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 3, 2017 at 2:48 pm

Darin is a registered user.

If I am not mistaken, Google's program doesn't use docking stations, and it still requires regular redistribution of bikes (not even counting the bikes that are taken off campus). Eliminating the docking stations and allowing users to leave the bikes "wherever is convenient" probably won't eliminate the need for regular redistribution of bikes.


2 people like this
Posted by BD
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 3, 2017 at 3:02 pm

This new approach sounds much better to me as a potential rider, too. I don't have to leave the bike at an inconvenient location and walk to my final destination, but rather can cycle right where I'm going and then check out.


4 people like this
Posted by Anke
a resident of North Whisman
on Oct 3, 2017 at 3:14 pm

It seems like if enough cities adopt a system like this, it could help reduce the problem of bikes getting bumped off Caltrain because some people would be able to bikeshare at either end instead of taking their own bike. But on the other hand I wonder how long it takes before the GPS is vandalized and the bikes simply stolen.


1 person likes this
Posted by Ed S
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 3, 2017 at 3:32 pm

Bike-sharing in China is really popular. The unintended consequences, however, are staggering. Photo: Web Link


2 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 3, 2017 at 3:33 pm

The problem with the old bike share system is there weren't enough stations to make the network usable for most city residents. Similarly, these new bike share systems will only be usable if there are enough bikes spread out where people need them, including in residential areas. If people can rent a bike to get from home to the Caltrain station, a lot of city residents will stop driving to work.


8 people like this
Posted by A bit concerned
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 3, 2017 at 3:50 pm

I think its a great idea but leaving the bikes wherever is convenient may be good for the rider but a mess if I have bikes piling up in our yard. We have Google bikes left in our front yard often and I have to call them to pick them up. Once we had 2 bikes right behind my car in the driveway. Not convenient for me!


2 people like this
Posted by John
a resident of Willowgate
on Oct 3, 2017 at 4:25 pm

These systems know exactly who last rode a bike and who parked it there, so they could punish people who leave bikes in people's driveways: Web Link


14 people like this
Posted by AllYouCanEat
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 3, 2017 at 4:42 pm

Why in the world would anybody pay to ride a bike when there are tons of Google bike spread throughout Mountain View.

Another thing. Stop trying to force people to ride bikes. The ones that don't want to ride will not ride. Leave them alone!


12 people like this
Posted by Forced to bike?
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 3, 2017 at 5:03 pm

Having something exist does not equal being forced to use it. You knew that right?
I'd try and get used to the growing number of cyclists though. So many have discovered how great it is in many instances, that it's really caught on. If you hear of anyone forced to ride a bike, for the record, I'm 100% against that.


11 people like this
Posted by A Talking Cat
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 3, 2017 at 6:20 pm

A Talking Cat is a registered user.

What kind of awful victim complex do you have to have, to believe that making something easier for others somehow removes your freedom from not doing it? (P.S. It must be terrible to be forced into a wheelchair whenever you see a ramp next to stairs.)


Like this comment
Posted by Crankcase
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Oct 3, 2017 at 9:19 pm

I'm waiting for dockless bike share to do a pilot program. Hopefully, it'll be successful. The old system required me to dock and walk four blocks home. That kinda defeat the purpose of riding bike share. In other words, it will work if you live across to one station. You're basically being controlled by what the bike share operators wants you to do. Freedom is not there. It's like locked and unlocked cellphone services.


4 people like this
Posted by Bruce Karney
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 4, 2017 at 7:11 am

This is an encouraging new development, and I hope city residents, commuters, city staff, and elected officials get it right the first time. Clearly, we are going to need LOTS more bike parking space in certain locations, and the City will need to make that happen very quickly. For example, not just at the downtown Transit Center but also at the one on Showers Drive and at the San Antonio CalTrain station. If station-less bike sharing is successful there will undoubtedly be many other locations that will need more bike parking. Fortunately, usage data from the bikes' GPS systems will help decision-makers know exactly where those places are.


Like this comment
Posted by Great option
a resident of Castro City
on Oct 4, 2017 at 7:43 am

The nice thing about this approach is the use of the private sector to decide if this is feasbale. The old approach basically needed huge government subsidies to survive. The new firms "claim" they can provide a bicycle system without public funds. Great. Of course council and staff bureaucrats will try to screw this up by imposing nonsensical demands for service. Let the private sector respond to consumer demand and run a system that truly serves customers and that makes money. The city should just take a percentage of revenue. If this works, maybe it will lead to figuring out how to male the trains and bus system to run more efficently so that they stop using public funds. If it works for bicylcles, it can work for trains and busses.


4 people like this
Posted by Great idea, and about Google bikes
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 4, 2017 at 10:42 am

I walked home from the train station all the way down Castro as well as walking in today and saw ZERO Google bikes, so obviously that's not gonna work.
Sounds more like an opportunity for people to belly-ache about their pet peeve issue rather than join in the discussion at the grownup table.


6 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 4, 2017 at 11:10 am

The city needs to create rules about where these bicycles can be parked (eg only official bike racks) and the city needs to make sure there are enough of these bike racks installed around town. Palo Alto has bike racks on every street corner in their business districts, and also in every city park and library. Is Mountain View going to do the same?


Like this comment
Posted by Me
a resident of Willowgate
on Oct 4, 2017 at 1:12 pm

One day I actually was looking for a google bike, and I couldn't find any in the usual spots ;(


7 people like this
Posted by Gary's Old Town Tavern
a resident of another community
on Oct 4, 2017 at 2:15 pm

What a waste of taxpayer money.


Like this comment
Posted by ^^^^^
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 4, 2017 at 2:22 pm

Knowing who was responsible for the bike last is a big advantage. Progressively less cars on the road means less time lost, increased general productivity. Even the grumpiest among us will benefit.


7 people like this
Posted by Gary's Old Town Tavern
a resident of another community
on Oct 4, 2017 at 4:07 pm

Do you [portion removed] who are supporting this understand that the people who want to ride bikes already have bikes? I don't think you do.


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood

on Oct 4, 2017 at 4:17 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


6 people like this
Posted by @Gary's Old Town Tavern
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 4, 2017 at 5:16 pm

Actually, you need to think a little more thoroughly on this. See the thing is, I have a bike. I ride it like crazy on the weekends, but don't have it at work since I drive in from the east bay. I would LOVE access to a downtown "lunch bike" for quick errands, or just to turn a 20 min round trip walk from one end of Castro to the other into a 3-5 min roll. I'd EASILY pay for that as described in the article. Less lunchtime cars downtown is a good thing in my opinion. I hope to lead the charge and free up some car space on MV's roads soon. If you choose to think past your obvious bias on this one and you'll see the benefits more clearly and we may even get to read ALL the words you write here ;)


15 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 4, 2017 at 6:09 pm

I want to commute to work by Caltrain or VTA lightrail. I live too far from the station to walk every day. If I biked there, what do I do with my bicycle when I get there? Trains are often full, so take it on the train with me is not a great option. If I lock it to a bike rack at the station, what is the chance it will still be there when I come home after work? Bike share is perfect, if the bicycles are easily available both in residential areas and at the train station.

These are private for-profit businesses with no taxpayer money involved, so why not let them try?


Like this comment
Posted by PA Resident
a resident of another community
on Oct 5, 2017 at 4:05 am

Any bike sharing plan that doesn't coordinate with Palo Alto, Los Altos, Sunnyvale, etc. so that riders can take them across City borders isn't going to be as attractive to riders than ones that have to stay in Mountain View. The artificial city boundaries are not the way people live their lives. We cross these boundaries all the time just to shop, visit friends, work, go to church, theaters, parks, etc. Really the only people likely to stay in town are children riding their bikes to school, but that isn't a given with private schools and after school activities that involve crossing the border.


2 people like this
Posted by Just Bob
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 5, 2017 at 7:00 am

"Any bike sharing plan that doesn't coordinate with Palo Alto, Los Altos, Sunnyvale, etc. so that riders can take them across City borders isn't going to be as attractive to riders than ones that have to stay in Mountain View."

If the intent is to encourage longer trips, then I would say that's true. If the intent is to encourage shorter in town trips, I would disagree.


8 people like this
Posted by MV Biker
a resident of Slater
on Oct 5, 2017 at 1:14 pm

This is a great idea. I live and work in Mountain View without a car and rely on my bike and ride-shares. It would be great to be able to take a ride-share to work to avoid showing up sweaty, but then have the option to save a few bucks by riding one of these smart bikes home. Steven's Creek trail entrances would be a good place to group them.


Like this comment
Posted by Wonderful!
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 5, 2017 at 2:10 pm

I like how it's privately funded. Should be very nice!


Like this comment
Posted by DC
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 5, 2017 at 8:10 pm

A sad outcome of these large quantity of easy use bikes is that some users don't care about the other pedestrians and leave them anywhere. Has anyone seen a handicap or blind person try to negotiate around a random parked bike? (seen because I was in a car across the street)


6 people like this
Posted by @DC
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 6, 2017 at 4:27 am

Thew great part about this is that the last users of the bikes are known/registered so issues like you describe can be easily flagged and tagged to an offender rather than them just being anonymous users.


Like this comment
Posted by Me
a resident of Whisman Station
on Oct 6, 2017 at 4:04 pm

There are bike racks all over downtown already. A lot of them are single 2 bikes, or double (4 bikes).


4 people like this
Posted by Giterdone
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 7, 2017 at 6:07 am

Bring it on! Lets roll!


8 people like this
Posted by Blushing Borrower
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 9, 2017 at 9:48 am

You know who's going to love this? My co-worker who, I'm sure, is sick of hearing me ask "Can I borrow your bike to run up to the bank?"
Love you Angela!


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


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?

Comment: *

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

*Required Fields

Nobu Palo Alto eyes next-door expansion
By Elena Kadvany | 4 comments | 3,111 views

Are We Really Up To This?
By Aldis Petriceks | 3 comments | 1,695 views

Couples: Cultivate Love, Gottman Style
By Chandrama Anderson | 1 comment | 467 views

 

Top restaurants to check out

Mountain View Voice readers have officially decided. See which local restaurants and businesses can now claim the title — Best Of Mountain View 2017.

View Winners