A total of 7,000 new bikes could come to the Bay Area in the next two years pending the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s decision on a Bay Area Bike Share expansion.
If approved, the program would be available in Berkeley, Oakland and Emeryville, adding to the bike-share’s initial presence in San Francisco, Mountain View, San Jose, Redwood City and Palo Alto.
“Oakland is at the center of the BART and AC Transit systems, and bike-sharing can effectively extend the reach of those services,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf for a press release. “I can’t wait to bring the benefits of bike-sharing to Oakland to serve neighborhoods and residents from our downtown corridor to East and West Oakland.”
Not all regions of the Bay Area have seen high demand for bike-share since the program implemented its first wave of bikes at 70 unique stations in 2013. Palo Alto Online reports that San Francisco leads the way in usage of bike-share, comprising 90 percent of the program with 436,000 trips since the program’s start. In Palo Alto, however, the demand for bike-share has been comparatively dismal.
Bike-share data shows that between October 1 and December 31, 2014, Palo Alto has seen less than 5,000 trips. The city currently offers a total of 37 bikes and five stations. Despite a strong student presence in Palo Alto (thanks to Stanford), the numbers are low enough to disqualify Palo Alto from getting any new bikes.
MTC spokesperson Sean Co told The Daily Californian that the installation of the proposed expansion “would not require any highly cumbersome changes to the East Bay’s infrastructure.” Growing from the bike-share’s initial 700 bikes to the proposed 7,000 could be done fairly quickly, Co said.
Marielle Mondon is an editor and freelance journalist in Philadelphia. Her work has appeared in Philadelphia City Paper, Wild Magazine, and PolicyMic. She previously reported on communities in Northern Manhattan while earning an M.S. in journalism from Columbia University.