The Null Device

San Francisco joins the bike-sharing age

The latest city to get a bike-sharing programme is San Francisco. A scheme is being rolled out both within San Francisco and technological/research hubs like Mountain View and Palo Alto along the west side of the bay. The scheme will be fairly limited compared to London or Paris; the bikes in San Francisco will initially only be in the business centre around Market St., and won't cover areas like the Haight, Golden Gate Park or the Mission District, and there are no plans to extend the scheme to the east bay (Berkeley/Oakland and such).

I'm half surprised that Google, Facebook or some startup haven't rolled out their own bike-sharing system first, with intelligently mesh-networked, location-enhanced bikes which may or may not interact with the rider's advertising profile and/or online identity.

There are 6 comments on "San Francisco joins the bike-sharing age":

Posted by: Michael S. Sun Oct 31 18:07:36 2010

According to that article, they're going with Montreal's Bixi, which is the same system that's used in London and Melbourne. (Though not Paris.)

Posted by: acb Mon Nov 1 02:33:17 2010

The photo is of Bixi bikes, though the article says that the vendor has yet to be chosen.

Posted by: Greg Mon Nov 1 06:42:56 2010

A great spot to rent them would be at the Caltrain station on 4th and Townsend. On weekends lots of people catch the train from Palo Alto and surrounding suburbs (ie, the Valley), get out at at this stop (it's the end of that line) and wander around SF for the day. It's a classic Valley weekend outing.

But the station is a fair hike from the CBD shopping area, so most people have to get off the train and onto a tram or bus. And I guess a lot of potential train travelers just drive up the freeway. So a rental bike outlet at the station would be a major boon for all these day-trippers. SF is a great town to cycle around.

Already a lot of people take bikes on the train (there's a bike carriage on every service) but rental would make it simpler for many.

Posted by: kstop Mon Nov 1 14:52:53 2010

Bixi has made its signup threshold in Toronto too, and should be starting up next spring. That is if the new mayor, Rob Ford, doesn't try to kill it. Sample quote: "I can't support bike lanes. Roads are built for buses, cars, and trucks. My heart bleeds when someone gets killed, but it's their own fault at the end of the day."

Posted by: toby Tue Nov 2 00:38:17 2010

That's all we need. Bikes that tell you "Turn right now for the red light district"

Posted by: Greg Wed Nov 3 04:51:18 2010

btw, helmets are not compulsory in the Bay Area - therefore this scheme has a better chance of working than the system in Melbourne