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Santa Clara VTA Proceeds with Bay Area’s First Bike Share Pilot Program
Posted By Matthew Roth On November 10, 2009 @ 3:20 pm In Bike Sharing,Caltrain,Palo Alto,San Jose,SFBC,Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition,Silicon Valley Leadership Group,VTA | 7 Comments
Despite the much ballyhooed talk by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom that his city will implement a public bike share pilot (two years of talk  that has garnered  numerous press hits ), the first bike share program in the Bay Area will likely be implemented by the middle of 2010 in Santa Clara County by the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA). While small size may still be a liability to its success and long term funding sources must be determined, the VTA is miles ahead of other transit operators in completing the process necessary to deliver a pilot.
The VTA used an initial $75,000 from their general budget to hire Economic and Planning Systems (EPS) to conduct the planning work, but applied for a $500,000 Safe Routes to Transit grant to implement the pilot, money that will come from bridge tolls collected by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). VTA has learned that the project has been ranked for funding, though it might not get the money for a month or two.
"Bikes in general are given short shrift in suburban sprawling areas," said Chris Augenstein, Deputy Director of Planning at VTA. "We can do a lot more to make bicycles a real mode and integrate them into everything we do."
VTA's Augenstein countered any doubts about the agency's approach to the project, arguing that by doing extensive market research and intercept studies, they will be targeting the project to expressed need. "We don't have all the answers, but we want to put our feet out there in the deep end," he said. "By focusing on the Caltrain stations where you have bike capacity problems, we think we're taking a logical step. Nobody really knows how [bike sharing] is going to fare in the Bay Area, but that's the whole purpose for the pilot."
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URLs in this post:
 two years of talk: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/10/02/MNLOSIIPE.DTL
 has garnered: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/27/us/27bikes.html
 press hits: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/08/02/BAH51931I4.DTL#ixzz0N9AkYn2x
 barolodrinker: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8861152@N02/1411899370/
 Moffett Park: http://www.mpbta.org/
 Silicon Valley Leadership Group: http://svlg.net/
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