Bay Area Bike Share announces East Bay sites

Details of Bay Area Bike Share’s long-awaited expansion to the East Bay were announced Monday, identifying 34 locations for docking stations that could be installed by the end of the year.

Motivate, the company now operating the bike share system, announced last year a planned tenfold expansion of the popular program, from 700 to 7,000 bikes, including bringing it into the East Bay cities of Oakland, Berkeley and Emeryville for the first time.

The first phase of the East Bay expansion will include 21 stations in Oakland, 10 in Berkeley and three in Emeryville. After phase three, expected to be completed in 2018, there are slated to be 70 stations in Oakland, 37 in Berkeley and 10 in Emeryville.

Mayor Libby Schaaf said in a statement:

“I can’t wait to jump on a bike when we bring this program to Oakland. …¬†Active transportation improves public health, promotes economic development, helps the environment, and is fun and affordable.”

The bikes will initially be placed mainly in the downtown areas and more will be added to the surrounding neighborhoods.

In Oakland, two each will be placed near the 12th Street and 19th Street BART stations. Another will be near the Lake Merritt BART station and several will be along Telegraph Avenue in the Temescal neighborhood, including one near the MacArthur BART station. One station will be located in Jack London Square.

In Emeryville two stations will be placed along 40th Street and one will be near Pixar Studios on Park Avenue. In Berkeley several will be located around the University of California campus and a few others along Telegraph Avenue. There will also be bikes docked near the Ashby and Downtown Berkeley BART stations.

Bay Area Bike Share general manager Emily Stapleton said:

“In the first year of our expansion, we’re planning to connect the key commercial corridors in Oakland, Berkeley and Emeryville to provide residents, workers and visitors in these thriving cities with a new and accessible option to travel in and between them.”

The pilot program first introduced in 2013 has proven particularly popular in San Francisco, where the largest expansion is planned, to 4,500 bikes in 2018.

But the long-planned expansion has been slow to come since previous bicycle supplier Bixi went bankrupt in 2014. Since then, the company has reorganized its supply chain and, now branded as Motivate International Inc., it operates bike share systems in Chicago, New York, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and other cities in the U.S. and Canada.

Last year, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission approved a plan to expand the program at no cost to taxpayers by funding it through corporate sponsorship, a model that has already proven successful in other urban areas.

After a series of meetings and a public outreach campaign to help determine the best spots for the system’s expansion, Motivate announced the locations for new stations in San Francisco and San Jose last month.

San Francisco’s would expand the program well beyond its current downtown and South of Market locations, mainly into the Mission District and Castro neighborhood, as well as adding significantly more stations in SoMa, two in Mission Bay and a few in the Tenderloin.

Thirteen stations will be added to San Jose in the first phase of expansion, widening the footprint in the downtown area.

Once complete, the bike share program would have 4,500 bikes in San Francisco, 800 in Oakland, 400 in Berkeley, 100 in Emeryville and 1,000 in San Jose.

But other pilot locations on the Peninsula may lose their bike shares altogether due to lack of interest. Redwood City, Mountain View and Palo Alto bike share programs have seen little use since 2013, and unless they agree to pay the costs of operating and maintaining their systems, a handful of stations in those cities would be removed.

More information about the upcoming expansion is available at http://www.bayareabikeshare.com/expansion.