For years and years, San Francisco city officials have been wrangling over how to decrease downtown car traffic. Since all of San Francisco is roughly forty-nine square miles, that doesn't leave a lot of space to go bumper to bumper. The solution? With much fanfare and local delight, the city has unveiled the Bay Area Bike Share Program.
Bay Area Bike Share bicycles — Photo courtesy of Tom Molanphy
The system is simple. You can slide your credit or debit card to purchase either a 24-hour membership (for $9) or three-day membership (for $24). What makes Bike Share different from the many bike rental programs already operating in the city is that riders have 30 minutes to return the bike to a kiosk before they are charged overage fees. In this way, the system is geared for locals who commute to and from BART or MUNI stations, where all of the bicycles and kiosks are conveniently located.
Bay Area Bike Share map and kiosk — Photo courtesy of Tom Molanphy
However, visitors from out of town shouldn't dismiss Bike Share. Instead of driving all the way to San Jose to explore Silicon Valley, you can take Caltrain, pick up a bike from Bay Area Bike Share and get around downtown San Jose without having to worry about parking or cab fare.
If you're interested in visiting the beautiful Stanford campus in Palo Alto but don't want to rent a car, Bike Share is also an option. Bike Share kiosks are located throughout San Francisco, Redwood City, Palo Alto, Mountain View and San Jose.
If you need some exercise and want to help decrease downtown traffic congestion, hop on a bike from Bike Share and travel the environmentally-friendly way. Very Californian.
Grab a Bay Area Bike Share ride, and get to pedaling — Photo courtesy of Bay Area Bike Share