Montreal’s Bixi Bicycle Share Will Showcase Program in GG Park Sunday

bixi_small.jpgPhoto: Adrien B

The MTA and City Car Share are welcoming the Bixi bicycle share program from Montreal, Canada, to San Francisco this Sunday to demonstrate how bicycle share could work if this city embraces it. City CarShare is using the event to conduct a user survey and provide information about the service to interested riders in the park.

“At City CarShare, we know first hand that San Franciscans are open to sharing a mode of transportation and we are excited to see this concept explored further," said Anita Daley of City CarShare. "With this demo, we hope to foster enthusiastic discussion about the service, as it can be a great way for riders to bypass traffic and lower their carbon-footprints while enjoying a healthy activity.”

As Streetsblog has argued more than once, were San Francisco to develop a bicycle share program with sufficient ubiquity, the city would need far more than the 50 bicycles originally suggested by Mayor Newsom to be installed on private property while the bike injunction is in place. Using Paul DeMaio's metric of 1 bicycle for every 150 people and five stations per every square kilometer, San Francisco should have over 5300 bicycles at over 600 stations.

Given that the bicycle injunction will likely be a distant memory by the time we have a working system, policy makers should have sufficient opportunity to find fiscal sponsors to underwrite a much larger program, one that wouldn't be set up from the start to fail.

At a minimum, the demonstration this Sunday should whet the public's appetite for bicycle sharing and perhaps plant a seed to demand a solid and workable system when that time comes.

MTA spokesperson Judson True sounded an optimistic tone, saying that this Sunday's event was part of Bixi's west coast tour and a natural synergy for City CarShare to promote alternatives to personal car ownership. While the MTA is studying the various possibilities for bicycle sharing, it has no concrete timeline for a system.

"We're excited to have this groundbreaking system from Montreal visit SF and we'll be watching closely how much people like it," said True. "With JFK closed on Sunday, it's a great opportunity to have people try it out. Let's hope the sun comes out too."