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Bay Area Bike Share Program Begins August 28

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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 (CBS SF) — A Bay Area bike share program in San Francisco, Redwood City, San Jose, Mountain View and Palo Alto will begin operating on Aug. 28, according to the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority.

The program’s first phase is set to launch that day with 700 bikes available for rent at 70 stations and the second phase will add 300 bikes and 30 stations by end of the year, VTA General Manager Michael Burns said.

In Santa Clara County, the VTA provided matching funds to locate the bikes in San Jose, Mountain View and Palo Alto, where 400 of the total 1,000 bikes will be operating when phase two is complete, Burns said.

The Canadian-made, seven-speed bikes will be available for rent with memberships costing $88 per year, $22 for a three-day pass and $9 for a daily pass, according to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

The $7 million program’s bikes are intended for short trips of 30 minutes or less but borrowers may use them for longer periods for an extra fee, air district officials said.

The company Alta Bike Share was chosen to manage the bike share program, partnering with the VTA, the air district, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Caltrain and the San Mateo County Transit District, Burns said.

Alta Bike Share currently runs bike share programs in New York, Chicago, Boston and Washington D.C., Burns said.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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