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Original post made
on Aug 10, 2013
Redwood City and Palo Alto get bike share, but nothing in between? Why did Menlo Park and Atherton opt out?
This will not work down here in the burbs.
Fees are too expensive, and where would you ride?
No infrastructure for cycling in either city.
Built bike infrastructure for existing commuters FIRST!
I was excited to see a bikeshare program on the peninsula, but after reading the details it is disappointing on a number of levels. First why isn't menlo park included? The fee of $88/yr is very high and the requirement to return to the city where you borrowed it largely defeats the utility of having a program to encourage people to bike rather than drive for short trips. In contrast, in Taipei where I just happened to register yesterday for their bikeshare program, registration is free and can be completed online in 5 min, you can use a transit card (which can be used for all transit -bus, subway etc), the first 30 min are free, and 10NT (about 33 cents) for each 30 min thereafter, and you can drop the bike at any location in the entire system.
Where does it say you are required to return the bike to the same city where you borrowed it?
Yes, the number of stations is disappointing, but I can see people using these to ride between Palo Alto and Mountain View.
If you are using this system several times a week (the intended audience), then $88/year is cheap. If you're using it only once a month, then maybe not.
Remember that this is pilot program to test the feasibility of a larger one. They are targeting the most-used Caltrain stations, which is why Menlo Park and Atherton are not included, and is why the number of bikes is small. If the pilot is a success then it will be expanded.
Could it be that Menlo Park and Atherton are not in Santa Clara County???
San Francisco and Redwood City are not in Santa Clara County, either, but they are part of the pilot program.
We used the bikeshare bikes in Washington DC on a recent visit. The thing to understand about this kind of system is that it's NOT a bike rental system. It's a bike based transport system. You use the bikes like you would use a train or bus to get from point to point. You get a bike at a bike station, ride it to another bike station near your destination and drop it off immediately. You don't get much more time with the bike than you need to ride from one station to another. When time runs out there are extra charges and the longer you keep the bike the steeper the hourly charges. It isn't generally practical to take a bikeshare bike somewhere, like shopping at a store, and and park it outside while you shop, then return it to the station where you got it. It'll cost more than it's worth. If, on the other hand, there's a bikestation near the store, you can drop off the bike at the station and go shopping, then get a new bike when you're done to make the return, and there will be no extra charges. That's how the system is intended to be used.
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