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Bike Rental Program Gaining Speed in San Francisco

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Shared bikes are parked at a SmartBike station in Washington, DC. SmartBike DC was launched in 2008 and is modeled after similar programs in Europe and is the first bike-sharing program in the United States. (Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

Shared bikes are parked at a SmartBike station in Washington, DC. SmartBike DC was launched in 2008 and is modeled after similar programs in Europe and is the first bike-sharing program in the United States. (Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – You don’t have to own a bicycle in order to pedal around San Francisco, under a new program that has moved a step forward at the Rec and Park Commission.

The commission appears to support the idea of a bike rental and sharing project at several large parks and plazas around San Francisco.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

The idea is to provide a way for people to bike around the city, stopping to enjoy the sights along the way.

“What’s really exciting about this is that you’ll be able to pick up a bike in Golden Gate Park and bicycle all the way to Union Square or Marina Green, stop, you know throw a frisbee in Marina Green, grab a cup of coffee or an ice cream. And when you’re done, go get another bike and bike to the next park,” explained Rec and Park general manager Phil Ginsberg.

“You can cover the city as a tourist without using a car,” Ginsberg added. “Or, you can cover the city as a young family, like mine, you know we can pick up a bike at Golden Gate Park and just spend the day biking around the city now.”

A Rec and Park Commission committee has forwarded a contract that would allow a company to set up rental facilities at Golden Gate Park, Union Square, Justin Herman Plaza, and Marina Green. Some details still needed to be worked out, including concerns that bicycle storage sheds would mar park landscape.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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