SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- With over 178,000 miles traveled since the launch of Bay Area Bike Share, a distance that would allow a bicyclist to circle the Earth more than seven times, ridership in the popular regional bicycle sharing program continues to grow.
The three-month-old system has now racked up more than 80,000 rides with over 3,200 annual members and more than 10,000 casual members since the program began on August 29. More area residents and visitors continue to sign up every day, increasing momentum for the program.
"The Bay Area Bike Share program is transforming the way people travel in our region," said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Air District. "These bicycles offer an important connection for that last mile of transportation between public transit and final destinations. The success of this program will result in long-term health and quality-of-life benefits for our region."
The bike sharing system launched this summer with 700 mint green colored bicycles, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 70 stations in five cities along the Caltrain commuter rail corridor — San Francisco, Redwood City, Palo Alto, Mountain View and San Jose. A full expansion of the pilot system in 2014 will boost those numbers to 1,000 bicycles at 100 stations. Bay Area Bike Share is the first bike share system in the country to launch as a regionally integrated system serving cities spread out over 50 miles.
Offered as a "first and last mile solution," as well as a stand-alone transportation option, the aim of the pilot program is to test the effectiveness of bike sharing in the region. The program encourages Bay Area residents and visitors alike to make short trips by bike, both in conjunction with public transit and for non-transit linked trips, resulting in reduced air pollution in and around the areas served.
Significant emission reductions from the transportation sector will help protect public health and ensure the Bay Area meets state and national air quality standards while reducing greenhouse gases.
Annual Memberships: Bay Area Bike Share offers two types of annual memberships. The Pacesetter Membership ($88), includes unlimited rides up to 30 minutes each. The Frontrunner Membership ($103), also includes a t-shirt and two 24-hour memberships. For more information, please visit bayareabikeshare.com/membership.
Corporate Partnerships: Bay Area Bike Share has just launched a corporate membership program, where businesses and organizations of all sizes can offer discounted and subsidized annual memberships to employees. There are five levels of partnership that are based on company size, number of participating employees and company contribution. For more information, please visit bayareabikeshare.com.
The cost of the full pilot totals $11.2 million, and is funded using Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality ($7.1 million), Transportation Fund for Clean Air ($2.8 million) and other local funds ($1.3 million). The program is managed by the Air District in partnership with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and local partners.
In addition to the Air District and MTC, the pilot project is a partnership among local government agencies including the City and County of San Francisco, SamTrans, Caltrain, San Mateo County Transportation Authority, the County of San Mateo, the City of Redwood City and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority.
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is the regional agency responsible for protecting air quality in the nine-county Bay Area. For more information, visit www.baaqmd.gov.
SOURCE The Bay Area Air Quality Management District