MTC votes to continue bike share into 2015, expand program to East Bay, and take over operation from BAAQMD
The San Francisco Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) approved $8.7 million to continue the SF Bay Area Bike Share program and expand it to cities in the East Bay at their monthly commission meeting earlier today.
MTC approves $8.7 million for bike share expansion #bayareabikeshare pic.twitter.com/Wuw9Q23qlg
— Sean Co (@seanaco) April 23, 2014
The Commission voted to approve the expenditure of the lion’s share of Federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds to continue the popular program beyond the current pilot program, which expires in August 2014. Currently, 1,000 bikes from 100 stations are available to the 21,000 members of Bay Area Bike Share in San Francisco, Redwood City, Palo Alto, and San Jose. With the additional funding, MTC plans to expand the program to Oakland, Berkeley and Emeryville in the East Bay. MTC also allocated $2M in CMAQ funds for car sharing, $6M for Transportation Demand Management (TDM) grants, and $400K for commuter benefit programs.
The Programming and Allocations Committee voted in favor of the staff-proposed funding at their April 9 meeting.
I don’t believe that 1000 BABS bikes are currently available. As I understand from press reports, the system currently has 700 bikes and 70 stations. And according to Oliver O’Brien’s bike share map (http://bikes.oobrien.com/bayarea/), the actual number of active bikes is currently plateauing just about 600 at night (when you’d expect almost all bikes to be docked).
I’m not a huge fan of this. It’s great that Oakland’s getting bikeshare, but bikeshare works when there’s a lot of stations to ride to and from. Having a fragmented system is a great way to ensure that the system has high costs and low usage– the SF part has usage only a fraction of NYC’s, and the less said about the Peninsula towns the better. There should be more concentration, not fragmentation.