Ken just pointed out this recent change to the Bay Area Bike Share FAQ, which now says San Francisco bikes can only be docked in San Francisco stations, while bikes in the other cities can be docked elsewhere (but presumably not in San Francisco?).
The FAQ also notes that riding from, say, San Jose to Sunnyvale might exceed the 30 minute time limit, which means overtime fees.
Bay Area Bike Share announced this FAQ changed a couple of hours ago. I checked on the day of Peter Coljin’s epic 47 mile bike share bike journey from San Francisco to Mountain View and a couple of days after, but didn’t see this text then.
They tweeted this afternoon about it, I assume it was added today. https://twitter.com/SFBayBikeShare/status/377905971546173440
I’m assuming the PA, MV, and SJ bikes are interoperable because they’re sponsored by VTA. The RWC ones don’t seem to get much use, so I guess they didn’t bother limiting them?
From a practical point of view, the nearest Bay Area Bike Share station to SF is in Redwood City, which is a 3 hour bike ride. With the huge fees on bike shares over 1 hour, no one is going to try that except as a stunt, then you can afford to take the bike back to SF yourself.
On the other hand, Redwood City to Palo Alto is plausible in the 30 minute time limit. Between downtown Palo Alto and downtown Mountain View, stations are spaced less than 15 minutes apart. Mountain View to San Jose is maybe 1 hour, but that fee for that is competitive with taking Caltrain along that route.