How about a bike sharing program?

TheRealGCS's picture

I'd like to see a bike sharing program instituted in the city. Does anyone know if this has been tried yet?

If not, the city should partner with a company like viaCycle ( and set up a way for people to easily get access to bikes. This would take cars off the road, and it would be nice to be able to bike to the park and not have to worry about bus schedules or where I leave my own bike.

DonRoss's picture

The Mayor announced yesterday

The Mayor announced yesterday that they are investigating a regional bike sharing program that could be used in a commuter fashion or as a way to link different forms of transportation where they are gaps in public transportation. It would be nice to see the City begin to the leader in a regional transportation initiative, as well as to create opportunities for local small businesses to expand their bicycle programs.

Zaquex's picture


Just like to point out, we can encourage bikers by pointing out the various benefits: environmental, tax benefit (, and how much money they can save even by renting bikes.

mattgould's picture

Tidbit II (Berkeley)

Berkeley is now home to a very visible Berkeley BART bike station on Shattuck Ave. I believe this is an extension of the bike station that has existed for some time beneath ground, in the Downtown Berkeley Bart Station itself. I don't use my bike too often, but have noticed it almost always close to capacity. Maybe the city can team up with these companies or use them as a guide on how to build successful bike sharing/bike storing enterprises.

Check them out here:

TheRealGCS's picture


I'm in favor of a government supported bike sharing program, and I think it should be a priority in terms of keeping cars off the road and making this a greener city. But to make this happen there would have to be overwhelming public support for a program like this. We talk like this is a good thing, but I wonder if the majority of people would support this as a priority, especially with budget shortfalls. It's gonna take a lot of political courage for someone on the Board to push this as people are losing their jobs and the job market upswing has stalled.

Ben Shore's picture

Not for now

In a city with the type of European flair and tradition like San Francisco, a government supported bike sharing program would get a ton of support...but not right now. This is definitely a program that would be accepted with open arms during a time of surplus or otherwise less contentious budget issues. It works (and has worked) in places like Amsterdam and Barcelona. Those cities could be a model for how SF would work. Citizens would, I believe, accept this plan but it would have to be done down the road as the City government must focus its full attention on creating jobs, stimulating the economy and balancing its budget.

jyasskin's picture

All for it

Paris and London have bike sharing systems too. See' for details of the Paris system including costs. I'm all for a similar system here, especially if we can learn from the other systems' mistakes.

hsparks's picture

love the idea, but we need better infrastructure for cyclists

How about adequate bike lanes? -- and bike boxes in the front of lanes to insure the safety of cyclists?

-- and charging out of town motorists to enter the city in a car. It worked wonderfully in London.  Why not encourage tourists to park their cars near the bridges, or by AT&T Park if they're coming from the Penninsula to lighten the motor traffic on the roads and create revenue to fix pot holes , create bike boxes for cyclists,  install speed bumps, and pay for shutting roadways for car free street days. The closure of the Valencia Street was hugely successful this summer.

I would love to ride my bike on a regular basis, but after being hit by motorists several times, I feel less willing to offer myself up as road kill for motorists who text while driving next to a skinny bike lane and often veer in to it.


Phil Ting's picture

bike sharing makes sense

Great idea - I know we have been looking into the idea for years, but have never gotten it off the ground.  As the city where we started City Car Share, why couldn't we have Bike Share be modeled after City Car Share.

Denver and DC just started bike share programs -

It seems odd that we have to follow DC and Denver.

We should figure out how they got these programs off the ground and get something going in SF.

Bernadette's picture

I think that's a great idea!

I think that's a great idea!  However, I do have to agree with hsparks's point about improving the biking infrastructure to encourage biking more and, more importantly, to increase safety.  One thing that I wonder about is how the program would deal with bike theft.  It's terrible to have your own bike stolen, but to also deal with someone stealing a bike that you're renting must add extra stress to the mess.  I guess advocating a bike culture and therefore the respect of others' bikes would be one factor to increasing bike security and subsequently helping win support for a bike sharing program.

Paid for by Phil Ting for Assembly 2012. FPPC ID# 1343137