SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— The Bay Area Bike Share’s fleet of 700 turquoise bicycles, available for checkout at self-serve kiosks, will expand tenfold to 7,000 over the next two-and-a-half years.
Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s (MTC) administration committee has agreed to enter negotiations for a public-private partnership with Motivate International Inc. where they will pay at no cost to the public for more bikes in cities like San Francisco, Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland and San Jose.
However, Streets Blog SF reports cities on the Peninsula like; Palo Alto, Mountain View and Redwood City, who participated in the pilot program, would have to pay to into receiving more bikes and is in jeopardy of having their existing kiosks relocated.
“We have a really ambitious vision for San Francisco,” said Justin Ginsberg from Motivate International. “We believe the Bay Area has the potential to have the most successful bike-sharing system in North America.”
Motivate International currently runs bike shares in New York City and Chicago at no cost to tax payers.
The organization will privately fund the expansion and make money through sponsorship and advertising, which could be shared with the MTC at a future date.
Adrienne Tissier with the MTC wants to include the pilot Peninsula cities in the expansion.
“I guess the part I don’t appreciate is all those that were in the pilot program are now going to be asked to pay to get back in,” she said. “We’re all so thrilled and really appreciate really the thought that went into addressing equity issues and access issues. There are a lot of neighborhoods in San Francisco where this is going to be a game changer for people.”
By access, she was talking about the possibility of discounted bikes for low-income residents and for those who speak limited English, which is still being negotiated.
San Francisco accounted for 90 percent of the ridership in the pilot program, despite only having half of the kiosks.