Palo Alto to consider bike share program

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Monday, July 21, 2008
By Yokota Fritz

Bike Library on Palo Alto city council agenda tonight

The Palo Alto city council will discuss a proposal to ask city staff to study the feasibility of a bike sharing system for Palo Alto.

Several councilors and the mayor of Palo Alto recently sat in on a presentation about the Library Bike system in place in Arcata, California. Councilors Yoriko Kishimoto and Sid Espinosa propose a library bike program with 20 bicycles available from kiosks in a trial program. Bikes would be loaned to library members on as as-needed basis.

In the proposed trial program, Bill Burton of Library Bikes in Arcata will administer the program for the city, providing used bicycles from the Roue Libre bike share in Paris. (Roue Libre preceded the well known Velib bike share.) People pay a nominal fee to join the program and receive an electronic Library Bike card. The card is used for entry to the enclosed bike kiosk. Bike use is free for the first two hours after which an hourly charge applies. Bike check out will only be during daylight hours.

In the proposal, Library Bikes proposes charging $11 per month for Libary Bikes membership. After the initial two free hours, bikes are $2 per hour. These rates are comparable to that charged by the Velib program in Paris. Unlike Velib, the proposed Palo Alto Bike Library will not be advertising supported.

The city council meeting begins with a closed session tonight at 6 PM in Council Chambers on Hamilton Avenue, Palo Alto, CA. After the closed session ends, the regular city council meeting begins. Members of the public can speak near the beginning of the meeting.

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