Bay Area Bike Share
Bay Area Bike Share bikes docked outside SFMTA headquarters. (Bryan Goebel/KQED)

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission is considering expansion of the Bay Area Bike Share program to Oakland, Berkeley and Emeryville. An MTC committee will vote on funding for the additional locations at its meeting next Wednesday. MTC staff have also recommended that additional locations be analyzed for further expansion.

The East Bay was not included in the bike share pilot that launched with 700 bikes last August in San Francisco and the Peninsula.

Despite that, Alameda County has the second-highest number of Bay Area Bike Share memberships.

“We’ve got a built-in demand,” said Renee Rivera of Bike East Bay. She’s pushing to bring 350 to 500 bikes to a corridor near BART.

“I think everyone is in agreement right now that an East Bay pilot makes a lot of sense, and we know we’re going to see good usage over here,” Rivera said.

Rivera says she would love to see those light-blue bikes in the East Bay by Bike to Work Day in 2015.

As of last week, 160,000 bike trips total have been taken in the five Bay Area cities participating in the program.

Jon Brooks contributed to this report.

  • Jeffrey Baker

    This would be most welcome. I often take cross-Oakland buses, like the 18 or the 57, that have circuitous routes and long delays. I would definitely prefer to ride a bike from Lakeshore to Telegraph, or from Old Oakland to Uptown, instead of waiting for buses.

    • Jame

      Even putting bikes on Broadway only along the B shuttle route and adjacent blocks would make a huge difference. Connecting Grand Lake to downtown via bike share is ideal, considering how infrequent the 12 runs. You could finish the bike ride in time less than the headways.

  • Jame

    About time. It makes absolutely no sense the east bay wasn’t included in the pilot, considering the large percentage of bicyclists, density of destinations and the existing infrastructure.

    • Jeffrey Baker

      Not to mention our significantly less challenging terrain.

  • John Smith

    A lot of things in life can be considered a success if money is no object. It is fiscally irresponsible to waste taxpayer on a program that cannot sustain itself. The parent company Bixi is in bankruptcy. The region has already spent 7 Million dollars so please consider the following before you fund an expansion of the bike share program with public funds:

    1. How much has the bike share program cost taxpayers so far?
    2. What is the monthly revenue?
    3. What is the monthly expense to taxpayers?
    4. How are more bikes expected to influence the financial situation?

    San Francisco’s poorly implemented bike sharing program is an awful concept from start to finish. We live in a city with dense traffic on all sides and the city is now renting bicycles WITHOUT HELMETS. Thanks to the disastrous bike share program we now have novice cyclists (and scores of international tourists) rolling around San Francisco who don’t know the California rules of the road, or follow the best practices of cycling?

    What is the point of having separated bike lanes, 25MPH zones, and one way streets if cyclists are not even required to wear helmets? After all of the arguments to reconfigure streets for pedestrian and bicycle “safety” the City is now willing to make a gigantic exception to cyclists wearing helmets while they are renting taxpayer funded city owned property. 

    City Hall’s campaign to inflict bicycle lanes on a public that largely has no use for them has reached a new level of absurdity with this bike share program. Forcing taxpayers to pay for (and subsidize) a mode of transit that sidesteps the “best practices” of bicycle safety and road sharing is hypocritical, short-sided, and just plain D-U-M-B.

    • Jame

      Bixi had both software issues and couldn’t figure out a business model. Meanwhile it is business as usual for its customers. DC bike share is breaking even, and its success is bolstered by lots of revenue from tourists (something we have plenty of here in the bay area.

      Adults should be able to make their own decisions regarding helmet usage, but it is important to note that in cities with bike sharing, accidents and injuries to bicyclists have not increased. Even with all of these “new” riders on the road. Bike share riders tend to be a bit more cautious than the general bike riding population.

    • Jeffrey Baker

      I anxiously await your screed against all other forms of infrastructure which cannot fiscally sustain themselves, including: roads, streets, highways and freeways, bridges, tunnels, BART, airports, buses, public sanitation, national defense, border patrol, highway patrol, local police, correctional facilities, street sweeping, disaster response, firefighting, and Independence Day fireworks shows.

      • John Smith

        NPR reported in January that BIXI, the parent company of Bay Area
        Bike Share has so many glitches and problems with their software that
        New York and Chicago stopped paying them. Is it fiscally responsible for
        San Francisco (and the rest of the Bay area) to stay the course when
        other cities are walking away?

        The Bay Area Bike Share program cannot continue of BIXI stops
        maintaining the software and goes out of business. The canary is already dead in the mine and private investors will not touch a company that hemorrhaging money and going through the bankruptcy courts?

        In the end someone will be left holding the debt and losses from Bixi & Bike share company. Why should it be the taxpayers?

        • Jeffrey Baker

          Yes we’re aware that bixi has financial difficulties.

        • Prinzrob

          “Is it fiscally responsible for San Francisco (and the rest of the Bay area) to stay the course when other cities are walking away?”

          Both New York and Chicago are working on expansions of their existing bike share systems, and not “walking away” from them as you claim. They are holding out on their payments to Bixi because of delays in promised software upgrades, not because the citizens of these cities are not using the bikes.

          Alta, the parent company responsible for the Bixi-built systems in the Bay Area, New York, and Chicago, is working on buying the operation from Bixi so that they can roll out these expansions faster and with less cost.

          • sfparkripoff

            “Bixi and 8D are embroiled in multi-million-dollar
            lawsuits.”

            “During Tuesday’s hearing, Alta lawyer Louis Dumont said
            software in bike-share stations in New York and some other cities still does not work properly, with some users unable to lock bikes and others being charged twice for transactions. In addition, cash flow became a big problem after New York City and Chicago refused to pay Bixi in full. Both cities heldback payments because of the software problems.”

            sourced from Montreal Gazette

            http://www.montrealgazette.com/technology/Public+learns+Bixi+lost+million+2012/9523569/story.html

  • John Smith

    NPR reported in January that BIXI, the parent company of Bay Area Bike Share has so many glitches and problems with their software that New York and Chicago stopped paying them. Is it fiscally responsible for San Francisco (and the rest of the Bay area) to stay the course when other cities are walking away?

    The Bay Area Bike Share program cannot continue of BIXI stops maintaining the software and goes out of business. The canary is already dead in the mine and private investors will not touch a company that hemorrhaging money and going through the bankruptcy courts?

    In the end someone will be left holding the debt and losses from Bixi & Bike share company. Why should it be the taxpayers?

    • Jame

      We have so many smart engineers here in the Bay Area, working on transportation apps, you don’t think we can write better software to make this work?

    • sfparkripoff

      That Alta deal fell through because Bixi asked Alta to prove it had the
      financial capacity to pay, and Alta never produced the proof.

      Alta said it backed out after taking a closer look at Bixi’s books.

      At last count, Bixi’s debt was $46 million.

      http://www.montrealgazette.com/technology/Public+learns+Bixi+lost+million+2012/9523569/story.html

      • Prinzrob

        Alta is still working on either purchasing Bixi’s international operations, so as not to absorb the debt that they owe primarily to the city of Montreal, or to go directly to Bixi’s suppliers and not have to deal with them at all. This is all expected to be finalized in time for the second phase of the SF bike share system by the end of 2014, and should certainly be resolved in time for an East Bay bike share in 2015.

  • charanga

    This is great news. Bike share cannot come to the East Bay soon enough. Our topography and density are perfect for bike share. We do need help with infrastructure though. I hope between this fall’s ballot measure for bike/ped/transit and Berkeley’s downtown area plan, a few pieces will come together and make a difference. I live a mil from downtown, but often don’t ride my bike because of security concerns. Bike share would remove that concern.

  • charanga

    Will this improve the chances of adding BABS to Clipper? Seamless mobility is in everyone’s interest.

  • gb52

    There is a significant demand in many places, but we cant simply spread a couple bikes here and there. It has to be a focused launch or else it will be like the Redwood city launch or similar (just not that useful). Another thought, for people who dont need a day pass, would it be too difficult to create a per ride charge? Perhaps $2 or $3 for a single ride? Just like riding the bus, maybe this will save someone from taking a taxi, or just give it a try. (I would)

Author

Bryan Goebel

Bryan Goebel is a reporter focused on transportation and housing issues. He was previously the editor of Streetsblog San Francisco, and an anchor/editor at KCBS Radio. He's a lifelong Californian and has also worked at radio stations in Barstow, Redding and Sacramento.

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