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Bike and Car Share Programs Coming to Peninsula

San Mateo County Board of Supervisors approved grant funding for two programs that may reduce the amount of cars on the road.

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors approved more than $5.75 million in grant funding Tuesday that will help launch the Regional Bicycle Share Pilot Program and the Last Mile Connection Pilot Program.

The bicycle share program will use $4.29 million in grant money to provide more than 1,000 bicycles to the public. The pilot project will put 100 bike kiosks along the Peninsula in cities such as San Jose, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Redwood City and San Francisco. 

Bike kiosks will be located in Redwood City and in nearby unincorporated areas of San Mateo County, according to a county report. Users can reserve and track the location of bicycles online. Ideally that will serve as a vandalism and theft deterrent system, according to the report.

The project is a collaboration between the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, the San Mateo County Transit District, Redwood City and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. The project's goal is to promote a zero emission transportation source by putting communal bikes in urban centers near bus and train routes.

"The Project will test the potential to effectively reduce single-occupancy vehicle travel to and from transit stops by offering bicycles as a transportation alternative, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions and vehicle miles traveled," says the report from the office of Peggy Jensen, Deputy County Manager.

The County plans to promote the program to employees and visitors as a healthier way of transporting oneself than the old fashioned way of one person per car.  

The funds to fuel the projects come from many places. The Climate Initiatives Program, stemming from the the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, supplied most of the grant funding. Those funds will also be used to develop and implement programs that offer carpool and vanpool opportunities, as well as other projects which aim to reduce the amount of individuals commuting alone in their car.

Similar to the bike project, the goal of the Last Mile Connection Pilot Program is to reduce vehicle miles travelled and green house gas emissions, according to a report from Jensen's office.

During an initial two year demonstration period to kick off the program, electric and hybrid rideshare cars for public use will be located at the Redwood City Caltrain Station and at two more downtown locations to be determined, according to the report. No regular gas powered cars will be used in the program; vanpools will be offered from residences and to worksites in Redwood City.

The County is also considering implementing telework programs and flex scheduling with its employees to encourage them to spend less time in traffic commuting to work, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions, according to the report. The county aims to eliminate an average of two single-car commutes a month for half of its employees.

No definite timeline has been set for either program to be launched.

commuter August 10, 2011 at 05:08 PM
This could be really great, if there are enough rental stations around town and enough rental bikes to meet the demand.
David Baker August 11, 2011 at 01:03 AM
Bike Share programs have transformed cities such as Paris, Montreal, Washing DC, Minneapolis, and Denver. It's great it's arriving here.

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