April 13, 2015

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) recently announced that Bay Area Bike Share, the regional bike share system, will be expanded into Berkeley, Oakland and Emeryville over the next two years, with a target of adding 400 bicycles in Berkeley, 850 bicycles in Oakland and 100 bicycles in Emeryville. The expansion will coincide with expansions in San Francisco and San Jose, where the existing bike share system is already in place.

Bike share is expected to a boon for students, faculty, staff and campus visitors wanting to get to class, BART, meetings, errands, or those coming to campus events. It provides Berkeley students, employees and residents another convenient, healthy, flexible and sustainable transportation option for getting to the places where they want to go. The density of students, plethora of events and campus activities, pleasant weather and an active population make UC Berkeley well suited for bike share.

UC Berkeley campus planning staff have been coordinating with City of Berkeley transportation staff on how and where bike share would be rolled out around the UC Berkeley campus. ASUC Transportation also received some funding from the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Student Services and Fees (CACSSF) to help improve access to bike share for students. Students, faculty and staff should start seeing the first wave of bike share bikes roll into Berkeley in Spring 2016.

Bay Area Bike Share may also address some of the gaps in access to campus by providing a sustainable transportation option for commuters who might not have a convenient public transit option; giving people a “last mile” connection from transit stops to campus; reducing the need for campus fleet vehicles operated by various departments; providing access to a bicycle for those who wouldn’t otherwise not bring one to campus; reducing the number of abandoned bikes on campus that end up in the waste stream; and assuage concern about bicycle theft.

Bike share allows members to use a bike for a short amount of time for free (aside from their membership fee); hourly and daily rates should also be available for non-members or visitors. Pricing specifics have not been announced yet. However, equity and access to bike share is a key component of the expansion according to MTC.

Public outreach to get input on bike share pod locations is expected to begin this Spring.

 

Images: Flickr, Bay Area Bike Share stream (top), Cyclelicious (lower)