Cyclists in Santa Clara. Not the actual bike-sharing program since there are no pics yet. Photo: Flickr, CC
First in the Bay Area
Despite talk about a bike-share program in San Francisco for the past couple of years, it looks like Santa Clara will actually beat them to the punch with a pilot program to be launched in mid-2010. Market research began last April, and about 1,200 surveys were conducted in the target area. The Stanford Daily writes:
The VTA has applied for a $500,000 Safe Rotes to Transit grant to execute the pilot program, which will feature 'pods' at the three stations and at destinations points around those areas, such as Stanford and San Jose State Universities as well as job centers. Though the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the committee that will fund the grant, will not release decisions until the end of this year, Aiko Cuenco, project manager for the Bike Share Pilot Program, says the VTA "has the highest ranked project" and is confident that they will get the necessary financial resources.
No actual official numbers on the number of bikes involved, but considering the size of the grant and the fact that an official said the bikes cost about $3,000 each (seems like a rip off, no?), it probably won't be much more than 100 at first.
Let's just hope that if it works, they will scale it up rapidly. A very small number of bikes could actually make the service less popular if people can't get a bike when they want one, or can't find a station to park it near where they want to go.
There's a big networking effect with bike sharing, and the more bikes and stations there are, the more useful it becomes.
Via Streetblogs, Stanford Daily
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