San Mateo moves closer to bike share program

August 10, 2011 7:36:39 PM PDT
San Mateo County took another step this morning toward implementing a bicycle share program that will connect Caltrain commuters to bike kiosks at stations in five cities.

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors today voted to join a partnership of local agencies participating in the Regional Bicycle Share Pilot Project, which will be administered by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

The program aims to put up to 1,000 bikes in more than 100 kiosks along Caltrain's Peninsula corridor, air district spokesman Aaron Richardson said.

"The idea is that one of the ways these bikes could be most valuable is as commute extenders," Richardson said.

Caltrain commuters could essentially deboard Caltrain, check out a bicycle from one of the kiosks and ride to work or a final destination, where the bike could be left in another nearby kiosk, Richardson said. The pilot program will establish bike kiosks in San Francisco, Redwood City, Mountain View, Palo Alto and San Jose.

Among the agencies that have agreed to take part in the pilot program are the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, the San Mateo County Transportation District, the city of Redwood City and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority.

By joining the partnership, San Mateo County has agreed to provide staff to promote the program locally and designate sites on county-owned properties as possible locations for bike kiosks.

"Bike sharing is an innovative way to improve our community's health and air quality by replacing short car trips with zero-emission bikes," Air District executive director Jack Broadbent said in a statement.

The pilot program is being funded by $4.29 million in grant funds awarded to the air district by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Richardson said.

The air district hopes to have the pilot program up and running in the summer of 2012, Richardson said.

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