SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Bay Area Air Quality Management District and its project partners announced today that the Bay Area Bike Share pilot program will launch on August 29, 2013. On that day the public will have access to shared bicycles 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at specific locations within the cities of San Francisco, Redwood City, Palo Alto, Mountain View and San Jose.
The bike sharing pilot is a part of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission's Climate Initiatives Program that tests innovative projects for their ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. The goal of the bike sharing pilot program is to make it more convenient for Bay Area residents to take public transit, make short trips within the communities where the service is offered, and reduce air pollution throughout the Bay Area. 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 MTC and local partners.
"Transportation is the single biggest contributor to air pollution and greenhouse gases in the Bay Area," said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Air District. "Bike share empowers the public to get out of their cars, take transit and reduce transportation impacts on our region."
Membership rates to join Bay Area Bike Share are $88 for an annual pass, $22 for a three-day pass and $9 for a daily pass. Each pass provides for unlimited trips during the membership period, with no additional cost for the first 30 minutes of each trip. Trips that exceed 30 minutes will incur surcharges. Annual memberships are available for sale at www.bayareabikeshare.com.
"The launch of Bay Area Bike Share is the first step in our city's efforts to build a world-class bike share system for San Francisco," said San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee. "Bay Area Bike Share will give San Francisco's residents and visitors access to a bike when they want one. It's an easy, convenient, affordable and healthy transportation option that we're eager to add to our transportation network, and we look forward to seeing Bay Area Bike Share transform the way we move around San Francisco."
The pilot will launch in two phases. The first phase will deploy on August 29, 2013, with 700 bikes. For the second phase of the pilot, it is anticipated that 300 additional bikes and 30 kiosks will be added in the first quarter 2014 to reach the full pilot complement of 1,000 bikes and 100 stations.
"As a fan of two-pedal power myself, I have been heartened by the steady increase in cycling's popularity, especially for commuting. Cycling helps decrease both pollution and your waistline," said Santa Clara County Supervisor and Air District Director Ken Yeager. "Bike Share is the perfect way to run short errands around town or get to work from our busiest transit hubs."
The kiosk stations will be located near transit hubs, high-density residential areas and key destination points such as employment centers and universities, making it easier to quickly and conveniently connect to and from transit and to make short-distance trips by bike. Bike sharing may also help to reduce the need to take bikes on board regional and local transit – relieving congestion on those systems.
"As a multi-modal transit agency, SamTrans is proud to be a partner in promoting bike sharing in San Mateo County," said SamTrans Chair Carole Groom. "Bikes are the perfect way to bridge the last mile between transit hubs and home and work sites."
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, the County of San Mateo, the City of Redwood City and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority.
In the Bay Area, the transportation sector accounts for more than 50 percent of overall air pollution. Significant emission reductions from the transportation sector will help the Bay Area attain and maintain state and national air quality standards and reduce greenhouse gases.
Bay Area residents and visitors can learn more about the bike share system at www.bayareabikeshare.com, facebook.com/bayareabikeshare and sfbayareabikeshare (twitter).
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.
MTC is the transportation planning, coordinating and financing agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area, and operates the region's 511 traveler information system.
SOURCE The Bay Area Air Quality Management District