In SF, Bay Area Bike Share’s Bikes Get Almost Three Trips Per Day

Image: SFMTA. Click to enlarge.

Following an underwhelming start, Bay Area Bike Share now sees an average of at least 2.5 trips per bike per day within San Francisco, according to the SFMTA. Since September 10, the average rate in SF has held mostly steady at about 2.7, and goes as high as 3.7.

Photo: ##http://instagram.com/p/eA5_54JJJb/##Bay Area Bike Share/Instagram##

For the entire five-city system, the average is about 1.9 trips per bike per day, up from the rate of 0.92 during the first 12 days after the August 29 launch. At two months in, Bay Area Bike Share’s usage exceeds that of DC’s Capital Bikeshare at the same point in time, according to SFMTA Bike-Share Program Manager Heath Maddox, who told supervisors Monday that the usage rate is “gratifying to see.”

Altogether, Bay Area Bike Share has about 2,000 members, and users have ridden 128,161 miles, or “almost five times around the Earth,” said Maddox. The 350 bikes within SF — half the system’s fleet — are used 900 to 1,000 times per day, he said.

The new numbers may not break any records, but Maddox said it’s “a healthy rate” and “a number we’re happy with.”

Maddox reported the new numbers Monday to a Board of Supervisors committee at a hearing called by Supervisor Scott Wiener to discuss the status of the system and how soon it can be expanded. As we reported last month, the SFMTA is looking to bring 15 new bike-share stations to the Mission, Castro, Hayes Valley, and Mission Bay neighborhoods early next year, rather than filling in the system’s existing footprint downtown as originally planned.

Bringing bike-share to new residential neighborhoods is expected to boost ridership. Although Maddox reportedly told the Bay Guardian Monday that the system may never “blanket” the Richmond and Sunset Districts, which hold little promise for high bike-share use, he did say at the hearing that the system could eventually be brought to popular biking destinations like Ocean Beach and the museums on the eastern side of Golden Gate Park.

An expansion of that scale isn’t expected for several years, however, since the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, which manages the regional bike-share network, has only taken initial steps to land a corporate sponsor to underwrite the growth and maintenance of the system.

Citing a new poll showing that most San Franciscans favor the expansion of bike-share and protected bike lanes, Wiener said in a statement, “Our city needs and wants more access to safe and accessible bicycling opportunities. An essential part of being a transit-first city is to give people a variety of options for getting around town, like expanding bike share city-wide.”

  • Anonymous

    Pretty obvious to me that more people will ride the bikes if the coverage area is larger. Right now the coverage area in Silicon Valley is a joke and I never ever see anyone riding those bikes.

  • Anonymous

    It really is sad. Political parochialism and photo ops resulted in those meaningless installations. Perhaps if we gave all the RWC/PA/MV bikes to one of those cities, we’d have a decent setup in that city, but the other two would be upset that they were left out. Prisoners dilemma – and they all chose to shoot each other in the foot. No local politician ever became a regional politician by thinking regionally.

  • Great to see this high level of usage in SF in spite of the modest sized starting fleet. Personally I see some advantages to a “soft opening” like this. The system seems to be well managed with few of the glitches that plauged the NYC roll out. It’s even more obvious that this will be a cost effective and successful system as it expand gradually over time. Personally I think it will eventually blanket the western part of the city.

  • N.J.

    Perhaps if Bay Area Bike Share had built-in locks and a 60 minute use-for-free time limit like the bike share in Boulder does it would be more successful in places without the station saturation that, say, NYC has. My experiences visiting Boulder have shown their bike share to be incredibly useful as a way to run to the grocery store or Target for a quick errand while not having to figure out the public transit or rent a car.

  • Caleb

    I suspect that even a modest expansion in SF will result in a huge uptick in utilization. There are ~34 pods in SF now, an additional 8 or so would be less than a quarter of that number. If positioned strategically, they’d really drive system adoption (I’d pick spots at stations (16+mission, 24+mission, church, castro), and spots at common shopping street destinations (patricia’s green, haight+fillmore, 18th+valencia, 22nd+valencia)

  • Anonymous

    Total joke. I’m still, for the life of me, trying to understanding how any politicians thought a crap-ass roll-out in these suburban cities was going to work. The one at San Antonio Caltrain … WTF? Where is anybody supposed to take that other than to the shopping center (only a 10-minute walk away anyway)? Don’t get me wrong, this is partly how it should be used, but they got to put way more stations in the area where people are *working* so these bikes can be used by commuters which absolutely has to be the target audience. At least initially. Once it catches on with commuters you can start taking care of the smaller needs, but it is a joke that these bikes are useless to commuters in the Peninsula.

  • Anonymous

    For me, the only purpose of the Silicon Valley bike share stations is to help you get from station to station if you find yourself on a Caltrain that doesn’t stop where you want to get off. Get off at another station and bike share back to your prefered station, assuming there is a bike share station there. Stations around town are way to sparse for any other use.

  • Anonymous

    For me, the only purpose of the Silicon Valley bike share stations is to help you get from station to station if you find yourself on a Caltrain that doesn’t stop where you want to get off. Get off at another station and bike share back to your prefered station, assuming there is a bike share station there. Stations around town are way to sparse for any other use.

  • Anonymous

    How much is the capital cost of setting up a station? Many neighborhood business district like Polk St, Mission, Hayes valley can really benefit from having a station. How about a sponsorship program to let the neighborhood merchant to put as ad on the bike and let them spread around the city?

  • I’ve been using the scheme almost from day one, and I’ve been keeping track of the bus fare savings. Today I broke even on the cost of the annual membership and the helmet I bought!
    http://matthewpetty.com/2013/11/bike-share-broke-even/

  • I agree. I use for the last section of my Transbay commute. There is a station a block from my office. Without that, I probably wouldn’t have signed up. Glad I did though 🙂

  • Mom on a bike

    Impressive, esp. since you bought a stylish & more-expensive helmet 🙂

  • Ted

    It would be amazing if companies could actually sponsor these at their offices in the Peninsula. Going from these train stations to work would provide a good alternative to taking busses and other shuttles.

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