The wonderfully successful Bay Area Bike Share program, launched in September of 2013, has shown steady use since day one. Now, with just over a year and a half of operation, they have reported over 500,000 trips taken, with over 300,000 of those in San Francisco alone. Over 7,000 have opted for the $88 year membership, while almost 50,000 short term passes have been sold.
The fleet of 700 bikes are clearly tailored to the casual / commuter cyclist. Weighing in at 42.5 pounds, these babies aren’t going to see you leading the peloton, but they have more convenience features then you can shake a frame pump at. And with nitrogen filled, puncture resistant tires you shouldn’t need that frame pump anyhow. The bikes are intentionally unique – part of the theft deterrent program – and are very distinctive looking. There are few if any parts that could be easily used with other non-bike share bikes. Ergonomics and comfort are featured here, with a front basket for strapping your cargo in, and skirts off of the rear fender to keep flapping skirts and dresses out of the rear spokes.
The terms of the service itself are tailored towards short, point-to-point routes – with trips lasting longer then 30 minutes incurring additional “overtime” charges. The idea is to keep the bikes in the system, allowing you to grab from one station and ride to another location near your final destination.
Based on their success in the Bay Area, Motivate has announced a major expansion. The Bay Area Bike Share fleet will increase from 700 to 7,000 bikes. You read that right – a 10x increase in capacity. This additional capacity will be deployed to the existing Bay Area locations of San Jose, San Francisco, and Peninsula areas in between. In addition, Bay Area Bike Share will also make the trip across to the East Bay, with services in Emeryville, Berkeley and Oakland.
To help gain insight into demand for the service, they have set up a web application where you can suggest locations you feel a Bay Area Bike Share station would be idea. Or, if someone has already suggested your location, you can endorse that suggestion.
What if everyone had access to a bike? Like, everyone. Huh, @BayviewCyclist?