Bicycle Sharing Plan Goes to Berkeley Council

On the Berkeley City Council agenda for May 7 is a proposal from Councilman Darryl Moore that the city join the growing ranks of U.S. cities with bicycle-sharing programs.

Berkeley City Councilman Darryl Moore is asking his fellow councilmembers to approve bicycle sharing for the city.

A proposal from Moore on the council's May 7 agenda would direct the City Manager to develop a bike-sharing program for Berkeley for council adoption within six months.

An agenda report by Moore says a number of U.S. cities – beginning with Washington, D.C., in 2008 followed by Denver in 2010 – have adopted bike share programs.

Bicycle sharing offers benefits for individuals, the environment and transportation systems, Moore says.

"Bike sharing systems have evolved primarily as a means to make bicycle travel in urban areas available to a wider range of people," according to his agenda report. "A shared bike service makes both spontaneous and planned urban trips possible by bike and can be an ideal complement to transit trips as it provides first mile and last mile connections.

"Moreover, bike sharing programs can contribute to reduced traffic congestion, reduced use of fossil fuels, reduced pressures on motor vehicle parking supply, and increased use of transit and other single occupant vehicle alternatives (e.g., rail, bus, car-sharing)."

Such programs also can ease the burden on personal budgets, he says. "Bike sharing can reduce the personal cost of urban transportation by offering an affordable public transport option," he says. "To this end, bike sharing pricing schemes typically offer the first 30-to-60 minutes of every ride for free, which encourages high turnover of the bikes and increases the probability that stations will have sufficient bicycles available to meet market demand."

Bike sharing can be paired with health-promotion initiatives, such as tracking calories burned, Moore says.

His proposal does not identify a specific approach for the city to take.

"There are a variety of non-profit, private and public-private models that can be explored to best fit the needs of Berkeley," his agenda report says.

Moore's report is attached to this article.


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Chris J May 01, 2013 at 03:19 PM
Barcelona has a bike sharing program with bikes locked and located near appropriate junctions. Users are given digital cards to swipe at the station which identifies the user, and when they return the bike at another station, it records the time the bike was used and, similar to the Fastpass for tolls, deducts from your account. We had no occasion to use it but it seemed effective.
Susan Silber May 01, 2013 at 04:33 PM
Yay, thank you Darryl Moore! Bicycle sharing programs rock!! Traffic in Berkeley is out of control. There is NO reason why able-bodied people could not get out of their cars more in the the flats -- enjoy the streets by walking, biking and taking public transit!!
Tyler May 08, 2013 at 10:08 PM
It should be noted that the report is assembled of uncited quotations.


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