SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) _ The Bay Area is getting ready to join the ranks of several major European cities by starting a regional bike share program.

Kiosks with communal bicycles are expected to go up in about a year. Mike Nelson of San Francisco was on hand on Friday to see a bike share demonstration at Civic Center Plaza.

“It’s definitely a great system for people who don’t have a place for a bike or get their bike stolen and are tired of that,” he said, “to come and have access to a bike.”

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

The Bay Area program will initially consist of a thousand bikes with about a hundred kiosks set up between San Francisco and San Jose along the Caltrain corridor.

Bob Burns of B-cycle, a company competing to get the Bay Area contract, said the system works because users have to use credit cards to unlock a bike.

“There have been bike sharing programs in the past where they just paint a bunch of bikes red and put them all over the city,” said Burns. “Those don’t work because people don’t have any responsibility for the bike.”

Earlier this year, B-cycle set up a bike share system in Denver. Forty-three percent of the users said they got the bike instead of driving a car.

Burns said similar systems have been set up in several European cities for years. The $7 million program is set to launch late next year.

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