85 stations expand Bay Area bike share network

The company behind an expansion of the Bay Area Bike Share program Wednesday released the locations of 85 new stations being installed with several hundred new bicycles to be made available in San Francisco and San Jose.

The 72 new stations in San Francisco will bring the total number of bike share bicycles in the city to more than 1,000, while 13 new stations in San Jose will bring that city’s total to about 250, according to officials with Motivate, which operates the Bay Area Bike Share program.

The company, which is partnering with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission on the program, hopes to have the bikes on the road before the end of the year.

The Bay Area Bike Share program started in 2013 with 700 bikes at 70 stations in San Francisco, San Jose, Redwood City, Palo Alto and Mountain View. People can purchase annual, three-day or 24-hour memberships, then pick up a bike at one station and ride it to another station at their destination.

The entire expansion, which also includes plans for hundreds of bikes in Oakland, Berkeley and Emeryville, is scheduled for completion in 2018. The plan for 7,000 bike share bicycles in the Bay Area would make the program the second-largest in the nation, company officials said.

The bikes come at no cost to taxpayers. Sponsors are paying for the program, but Motivate officials are still seeking a main funding sponsor, Bay Area Bike Share general manager Emily Stapleton said. Stapleton would not say how much the expansion will cost.

The new bikes in San Francisco will be located in the Financial District, Tenderloin and Mission District, among other neighborhoods, while in San Jose the bikes will be located in the greater downtown area.

Additional phases in San Francisco will expand the program to areas farther west in the city, company officials said.

Motivate officials said they have committed 20 percent of all bikes to sites with higher concentrations of low-income residents.

Motivate officials held nearly 70 briefings with individuals and community groups, such as merchant associations to decide where to locate stations, Stapleton said.

Nine public workshops were held and the company received more than 5,000 suggestions through an online portal.

Meetings were also held with groups such as the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition.

Motivate officials will announce more details about the expansion to Oakland, Emeryville and Berkeley in the coming weeks.

The first phase will be a mostly north-south orientation connecting those three cities. Stapleton said some bikes will be located along Telegraph Avenue.

No plans exist through 2018 to expand in the East Bay beyond those three cities, she said.