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September 3, 2013

S.F. Muni launches bike share program

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) opened a Bay Area Bike Share, a regional pilot bike sharing program that launched 350 bikes and 35 stations in San Francisco as part of a 700-bike and 70-station regional unveiling.

“Over the past five years, we have taken great strides toward making San Francisco one of the best cities for bicycling and today we reach a new milestone as we launch Bay Area Bike Share,” said Mayor Edwin M. Lee. “There is no better time for bike sharing in San Francisco, and we know that Bay Area Bike Share will be an integral part in introducing more people to the joy of bicycling in San Francisco and throughout the entire Bay Area.”

“Bay Area Bike Share is more than just a bike program, it’s really San Francisco’s newest transportation option,” said Ed Reiskin, SFMTA director of transportation. “This program is bringing to San Francisco a new, dynamic and flexible way of getting around the city and we look forward to working closely with our city’s residents, businesses and visitors to make Bay Area Bike Share a true success.”

Bay Area Bike Share bikes are commuter-style bikes built to withstand constant use and resist theft. The uniquely one-size-fits-all designed bikes are comfortable for all users and feature seven speeds, upright handlebars, wide seats, hand brakes, a front basket and a chain guard to protect clothing. Headlights and taillights illuminate automatically when the bike is pedaled.

The bikes and stations also have cardinal rules of the road printed on them: ride with traffic; walk bikes on the sidewalk; obey traffic signals and signs; and yield to pedestrians. While helmet use is not legally required for adults riding bikes, it is encouraged for Bay Area Bike Share riders.

Membership rates to join Bay Area Bike Share will be $88 for an annual pass, $22 for a three-day pass and $9 for a daily pass. Each pass provides for unlimited trips during the membership period, with no additional cost for the first 30 minutes of each trip.

This pilot program is brought to the region through a multi-agency public partnership, including the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, Metropolitan Transportation Commission, County of San Mateo, Redwood City, Caltrain, San Mateo County Transit or SamTrans, the Valley Transportation Authority, City and County of San Francisco, and the San Francisco County Transportation Authority.

The cost of the full pilot totals $11.2 million and is funded using Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality funds ($7.1 million), money from the Transportation Fund for Clean Air ($2.8 million) and other local funds ($1.3 million).

RELATED: "U. of Mich. launches bike share program"

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