By Jen Kinney.
Palo Alto is planning a major expansion of its bike-share program as part of a larger deal that will increase the number of bicycles in the Bay Area’s shared system from 700 to over 7,000, Mercury News reports.
Bikes and memberships in the new system, which will be operated by Motivate and sponsored by Ford, will be interchangeable in Bay Area cities from San Jose to San Francisco, “making it one of the largest systems in the entire world,” San Jose’s chief transportation official, Joshuah Mello, told the Mercury News.
Palo Alto’s $1.1 million expansion will grow the city’s fleet from 37 to 350 by June 2017, and up to 700 in 2018. San Francisco’s fleet will increase by 4,500; East Bay’s by 1,400 and San Jose’s by 1,000.
Officials hope that adding more bikes and docking stations to the system — Palo Alto alone will get an additional 37 stations — will increase ridership. Bike-share systems strive for a standard of one trip per bicycle per day, but right now Palo Alto’s 37 bike system averages just 0.17. Mountain View has a rate of 0.39 trips; Redwood City averages a paltry .08 rides per bike per day. San Francisco reigns, with 2.51.