San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom announced during his visit to Paris that the City will pilot a bike share program this year.
"Bike sharing will help connect thousands of residents and commuters to their workplaces and shopping destinations by providing bikes that they can easily borrow," said Mayor Newsom.
To get around the court injunction that prevents San Francisco from implementing any bike facility changes, this pilot of 50 bicycles will be funded by Clear Channel Communications with five stations installed on non-city property.
I don't really see them as competing. The private rental companies in SF are all on the North Side of town focused on tourists going down Crissy Field to the bridge.
I just don't see the point of this level of program. If I were stuck downtown, I couldn't grab a bike and ride home, dropping the bike off at a location near my home because one would not exist. Very few actual trips would be point to point given where the rental locations are, and that's a lot of the success of the Paris program.
I guess that makes it no different from the private rentals after all!