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Ready to roll: Bike Share launches in Mountain View

Original post made on Aug 29, 2013

The Bay Area Bike Share program was launched Thursday morning (Aug. 29) in San Francisco and Peninsula cities, including Mountain View, allowing participants to have access to shared bicycles all day, every day. In photo, ==I Photo by Michelle Le==

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, August 29, 2013, 1:16 PM

Comments (32)

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Posted by MattJ
a resident of Castro City
on Aug 29, 2013 at 2:15 pm

Don't know if that makes sense. The pricing policy is absurd: 30 min trips are included in the membership fee, but addtl. 30 mins are $4 and then $7.

Check out how Germany's railway does it. No stations and unlocking the bike directly with a phone call: Web Link


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Posted by Now the thieves do not
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 29, 2013 at 2:17 pm

need to climb balconies to steal bikes. Only thing is they have an ugly color.

I would still rather use a car than such a primitive mode of transportation meant for kids.


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Posted by Martin Omander
a resident of Rex Manor
on Aug 29, 2013 at 2:22 pm

This is a sign of the times -- good to see it Mountain View. Over the last few times I've been to London, I have seen cycling going from being a sport for adrenaline-addicted bike messengers dicing with death, to being a common mode of transportation for business men and laborers alike. It's all been thanks to their "Boris Bike" bike rental program. Looking forward to seeing more bicycling in my home town of Mountain View!


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Posted by Greg David
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 29, 2013 at 2:33 pm

Greg David is a registered user.

What Matt said ^^^

This system is nothing but a taxpayer funded boondoggle destined to fail. I'm not surprised to see who the first rider is. First ride. Last ride. Unless you commute between city hall and Caltrain.

What a joke.


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Posted by mike
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 29, 2013 at 2:34 pm

No bike helmet?


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Posted by Did
a resident of Shoreline West
on Aug 29, 2013 at 3:28 pm

Anyone consider "American made bikes"? And, nice job no helmet. Does that mean helmets are not provided?


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Posted by Worthles to theives
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 29, 2013 at 4:13 pm

Who is going to steal these? No, Really. It would be like stealing a Google bike. You won't get a thing for that very unique easy to spot frame. The components are bomb proof everyday stuff that has zero value on the black market.
So far, the best part of this program is seeing all the anti bike curmudgeons writhing and retching over the undeniably increasing number of bikes on our local roads.
Once they figure out they have less traffic to deal with they'll come around, but for now, its fun to watch :)


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Posted by eric
a resident of another community
on Aug 29, 2013 at 4:38 pm

Yeah, seeing the guy --in the VTA jersey, no less-- with no helmet is very disappointing. Horrible example

Placement of the stations makes zero sense-- who is the target user that will start their short ride at City Hall? Why deploy at both CalTrain AND City hall? I like the idea but poor execution will doom this.


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Posted by eric
a resident of another community
on Aug 29, 2013 at 4:42 pm

ALSO-- focusing this on Castro St is just stupid. Anyone that bikes around town knows that Castro is a terrible place to ride! Did Council just want the thing in front of city hall for show, without really looking at biking habits and realistic use patterns? That would fit


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Posted by Political Insider
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 29, 2013 at 8:14 pm

Wat a waste of money and publicity stunt. So why would i pick up a bike at city hall? Where am I going but to another station. there will never recover the money spent on this silly program.

If it was worth doing the private sector would provide this service.


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Posted by Greg David
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 29, 2013 at 9:18 pm

Greg David is a registered user.

As for the helmet Nazis, yes it is setting a poor example not wearing a helmet in the publicity stunt photo-op, but it is still and individual's right to choose if they want to wear a helmet when cycling.

I may disagree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to disagree with me. We have a enough of a nanny-state already. Get over the helmet thing and let's concentrate on how much $$$$$ was wasted.....


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Posted by eric
a resident of another community
on Aug 29, 2013 at 9:57 pm

Yes, Greg, no one has to wear a helmet. Hard to take you too seriously with your knee-jerk language, but I concur. Be obese, smoke yourself to death, be an idiot and don't wear a helmet-- that's your call.

If my doctor came into the exam room weighing 300 lbs, I would take none of his advice seriously. I would chastise him for setting a bad example. If a PUBLIC OFFICIAL, acting as a public representative, kicks off a public enterprise by setting a poor example for users of said enterprise (including kids), he should get called out for it. He has in this capacity forfeited his right to make stupid choices.


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Posted by Greg David
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 29, 2013 at 10:05 pm

Greg David is a registered user.

My knee-jerk language is no worse than the knee jerk legislation we see from our nanny government. Something happens.... damn.... those people can't take care of themselves, so we better make a new law!

I'm obese. Wish I wasn't. I credit my mother for teaching me bad eating habits. I was 330 pounds when I graduated from high school. But who is ultimately to blame? Myself. I don't smoke. Even I'm not that stupid. I also don't wear a bike helmet. MY CHOICE.

Back to bike share. I don't need it, I don't want it, I don't want to pay for it. This is the classic product of liberals using other people's money to pay for something they don't want or need then we will ultimately be blamed for its failure because we refused to use it....

Look at VTA light rail if you need an example...


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Posted by Donald
a resident of another community
on Aug 30, 2013 at 8:07 am

Greg,
There are lots of freeways in far-off parts of California that I don't need and don't want but I pay for them anyway. We all benefit from a robust transportation system with a variety of choices and alternatives. Nobody is expected to directly use all of them.


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Posted by Greg Coladonato
a resident of Slater
on Aug 30, 2013 at 9:44 am

Greg Coladonato is a registered user.

When was Rich Larsen elected to the Mountain View City Council?

"Mountain View council members Rich Larsen, left, and Margaret Abe-Koga, right, prepare to take the first ride from the new Bay Area Bike Share docking station at City Hall in downtown Mountain View on Aug. 29, as the pilot program was launched. Photo by Michelle Le"


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Posted by GSB
a resident of Rex Manor
on Aug 30, 2013 at 9:46 am

Castro St. is not the ONLY bikestation location. There is also one at Rengstorff Park.


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Posted by OMV Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 30, 2013 at 1:16 pm

@Donald - Well said. This program is just one piece of the puzzle of giving people transportation options.

And regarding the station locations, only 2 of the in Mountain View are on Castro Street (at City Hall and at the train station). There are also bike share locations near the San Antonio Caltrain station, Rengstorff Park (as noted above) and the Evelyn light rail station. The system website shows future locations at San Antonio shopping center and El Camino & Castro.


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Posted by weirdmtnview
a resident of Castro City
on Aug 30, 2013 at 3:20 pm

wow, people are really talking about this here, um, I guess I better get out there any try Bike Share before I leave my comment.


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Posted by Scott Lamb
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 30, 2013 at 4:21 pm

From what I understand, people are much more likely to use a bike-share if there's no helmet involved. And it's better for people to ride without a helmet than to not ride at all. Here's a good article on the subject: Web Link


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Posted by Donald
a resident of another community
on Aug 30, 2013 at 5:56 pm

Those of us who have had kids in elementary school know another reason for not providing helmets: lice (and sanitation in general). There is also the matter of providing enough sizes to fit everyone. All in all, just not practical.


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Posted by Janet Lafleur
a resident of Rex Manor
on Aug 30, 2013 at 9:08 pm

Janet Lafleur is a registered user.

My husband and I bought an annual memberships and will try the bikes out while going away for the weekend in San Francisco. We're staying at a nice hotel near 4th St and Market, where the parking is $45 a day and there are lots of bike share stations nearby. I'm anxious to see how easy it is to get around.


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Posted by Janet Lafleur
a resident of Rex Manor
on Aug 30, 2013 at 9:19 pm

Janet Lafleur is a registered user.

Also, I attended the launch event in San Jose since that's where I worked. They offered bike helmets to everyone participating in the launch party ride and the vast majority wore them.

I would not assume that Rich the VTA board member who is not wearing a helmet straddling the bike on the sidewalk actually rode without putting a helmet on first. He's on the sidewalk, not riding in the street. And by the way, it's not illegal for adults to ride without a helmet anyway.


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Posted by Donald
a resident of another community
on Aug 30, 2013 at 9:47 pm

I have always worn a helmet for 30+ years of bicycling, and everyone in my family has also done so. Having said that, it is a peculiarly American opinion that bicycling is so dangerous that a helmet is required. In the Netherlands or in Denmark bicycling is considered so safe that nobody wears a helmet (except American tourists). Even pregnant women ride bikes there and it is quite acceptable. Clearly there is no difference in the basic act of riding a bike or in the durability of the human body. The difference is in laws, culture and attitudes. If you look at the statistics, both sides are correct! It is quite safe to bike in the Netherlands and it is much more dangerous to ride a bike here. This has nothing to do with physics or physiology, and little to do with infrastructure, and has everything to do with the attitudes of drivers, our cultural bias, our laws, and how we enforce them.

I will continue to wear a helmet and continue to work for the day when it is no longer necessary.


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Posted by Greg David
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 30, 2013 at 10:51 pm

Greg David is a registered user.

@Donald

We pay for their freeways and they pay for ours.....

You analogy sucks.


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Posted by Mike
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 1, 2013 at 2:11 pm

I have "used" bike helmets in three crashes in my 40 + years of cycling. When a truck strikes you while you are in a bike lane, you do not have time to react - you hit the ground hard, often on your head. Your helmet will make a difference then. Those who wont wear a helmet are not conidering who would pay if/when your are disabled. Either your relatives or the state will have to care for your in your near brain dead condition. So yes, you may have the right to ride without one, but simple consideration of the effects of your disability/burden should make it clear to always wear one...


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Posted by Brett
a resident of another community
on Sep 3, 2013 at 9:24 am

This is one of the lamest ideas ever! Are there really people out there who prefer to ride a bicycle but don't already own one? Similar programs in other cities have failed miserably. The bicycles sit unused 99% of the time.


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Posted by sophiemutterfan
a resident of The Crossings
on Sep 3, 2013 at 2:28 pm

We checked out the bike station at MTNV Caltrain station, it looked really nice and I want to be a member.  But wait, we found the policy is ridiculous that you have to return the bike within 30 minutes after you start to use. How does that suppose to mean? It takes about 30 minutes to ride from MTNV Caltrain station to Rengstorff Park, longer than 30 min to San Antonio Caltrain Station. I don't know who will really use this system under such policy. Whoever established the policy didn't think about a normal scenario.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 3, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Bike share systems in other cities are a runaway success. Read this report about New York City's bike share system: Web Link

THe 30 minute limit is so that bikes can be shared by multiple people. On average, each bike in New York City is used by 6 different people every day. You're supposed to ride for 30 minutes (or less), then drop the bike off at your destination station so someone else can use it.

BTW - Castro Street to Rengstorff Park is about 1.3 mile or 8 minutes at a casual pace. 30 minutes for this distance would be a walking pace. Castro Street to San Antonio Caltrain is about 2 miles or 15 minutes by bike. Plenty of time to check the bike in, visit the park or shopping center for a while, then check out a different bike to ride home. I've biked all the way from Castro Street to midtown Palo Alto in 30 minutes.

You folks really need to try out the system. The city is a lot smaller than you might think when you are riding a bike.


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Posted by Sahlqvist
a resident of The Crossings
on Sep 13, 2013 at 10:58 pm

What MattJ said! The pricing is absurd.
I see people on those bikes, but I wouldn't dream of spending $9 for one day for the right to use one of them in 30 minute increments. (Or $27 for a 3 hour rental, or $150 for a whole day.)
I could get a bike at the San Antonio Caltrain station, near which I live, ride over to Safeway, do some hurried shopping and get back to return the bike within 30 minutes. But it would be no less convenient to walk and save the $9.
If I wanted to go to the Los Altos Library and back, I imagine it would end up costing me at least $27.
In the city where I grew up the public is complaining that they can only keep the bike for 3 hours before checking it in and borrowing it again. (Late three times and you lose the privilege of borrowing the bikes.) Yes, I said "borrow". You pay about $20 for a one year membership. After that you pay nothing. The system is financed through advertisement at the stations. No public money spent.


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Posted by Sahlqvist
a resident of The Crossings
on Sep 13, 2013 at 10:58 pm

What MattJ said! The pricing is absurd.
I see people on those bikes, but I wouldn't dream of spending $9 for one day for the right to use one of them in 30 minute increments. (Or $27 for a 3 hour rental, or $150 for a whole day.)
I could get a bike at the San Antonio Caltrain station, near which I live, ride over to Safeway, do some hurried shopping and get back to return the bike within 30 minutes. But it would be no less convenient to walk and save the $9.
If I wanted to go to the Los Altos Library and back, I imagine it would end up costing me at least $27.
In the city where I grew up the public is complaining that they can only keep the bike for 3 hours before checking it in and borrowing it again. (Late three times and you lose the privilege of borrowing the bikes.) Yes, I said "borrow". You pay about $20 for a one year membership. After that you pay nothing. The system is financed through advertisement at the stations. No public money spent.


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Posted by cisco
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 30, 2013 at 11:43 pm

i am skeptical as to whether or not it would work here in mtv. i have been riding my bicycle for years, and enjoy it more than the car (unless it's raining - i don't ride in the rain!). i use my brain bucket all the time. i fear the one time i deliberately leave it at home will be the one time i really need it. i have fallen, with my hat on, and it didn't hurt my head at all, and i thanked my lucky stars my hat was on. it took a good blow, but my head didn't. 'nuff of that. mtv is a great town to ride bikes in. and yes, staying off castro is a good idea. i'm going to see how it goes with this program before i opine on it, but as a bicycle owner, it is of no use to me. i hope it works for others, though. it would be good to take a few more cars off the road!


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Posted by cisco
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 30, 2013 at 11:51 pm

@ janet: i used to do much of my tech support work in s.f. i found that the work i did in the financial district made it easy for me to leave the car at home. i would take caltrain to s.f. then ride to work. i have those little side bags on my bike, so my laptop and assorted tools fit in there just fine. after work, if i had the time, i would cruise around s.f. going to fort mason, or even to the sunset area a few times. with the parking rates there, i feel you are wise in opting for bicycling around there. if the weather is nice, go for it. if it's cold, dress for it. if it's raining? well, you said you're staying in a hotel with hubby...be creative!


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