San Diegans test-drive bike-sharing systems

SAN DIEGO -- As San Diego leaders discuss ways to make the city more bicycle-friendly, Mayor Jerry Sanders on Monday launched a bike share program during a demonstration hosted by Civic San Diego at Petco Park.

Public bike sharing is an innovative transportation system that provides public access to bicycles for short trips in an urban environment and promotes an affordable transportation alternative to driving for San Diego residents, commuters and visitors.

Three companies – B-Cycle, Bike Nation and the Sandvault Group – demonstrated their bike-share rental systems and invited the public to examine and test the various technologies and equipment. The public was also encouraged to provide feedback about what features they would like to see on a bike and where bike rental kiosks should be located.

“The bike share program is a perfect fit for the San Diego lifestyle as it promotes healthy living and clean transportation,” Sanders said. “It will also help facilitate travel to and from trolley and bus stations by providing last-mile solutions for commuters.”

The city will be issuing a "Request for Sponsorship" to identify companies that are interested in partnering with the city to create a bike share system expanding from downtown to the beach communities with flexibility to be extended to other areas in San Diego.

“Our city is perfectly suited to embrace bike-sharing,” said Andy Hanshaw, San Diego County Bicycle Coalition executive director. “Bike sharing will help alleviate parking problems and traffic congestion in our urban core by encouraging customers to ride rather than drive. Bicycling will also provide additional mobility options for people without bikes or no place to store bikes.”

The program, which is expected to come online next spring, will be the first bike share program in the region, and one of the first bike sharing programs in the nation to operate without the use of public funds.

Mayor Sanders was joined at the bike share demonstration by Councilmembers Kevin Faulconer and Todd Gloria, Metropolitan Transit System CEO Paul Jablonski, Civic San Diego vice president Jeff Graham and Move San Diego executive director Elyse Lowe.

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