Bay Area Bike Share Memberships Now on Sale


Bay Area Bike Share started selling annual memberships at noon today, and judging by the buzz on Facebook and Twitter, it looks like hundreds of people have already signed up.

Annual members get a year of unlimited rides under 30 minutes for $88 (overage fees still kick in if you take more than 30 minutes). The first 1,000 annual members get a special black key fob instead of the normal blue keys. And for an extra $15, early adopters get two 24-hour passes to share with friends and a Bay Area Bike Share t-shirt.

If you’re not ready to commit to an annual pass, when the system launches you can always pay $9 for a daily pass or $22 for a three-day pass.

In New York City, a few City Council members signed up for Citi Bike soon after memberships went on sale. We have yet to learn which San Francisco supervisor will be the first to stake their claim as a “founding member” of Bay Area Bike Share.

  • I signed up in hopes that one day a bike pod would appear somewhere near my house. Keeping my fingers crossed, too.

  • Anonymous

    Considering the super super super (embarassingly) limited pilot is only in David Chiu and Jane Kim’s districts, I’d say it would probably be one of them. Probably Jane Kim.

    It’s weird to look at Bay Area Bike Share prices and then look at Velib in Paris or Bixi in Montreal. The prices here are quite high for such a small stock.

  • Mark Dreger

    NYC is over $100 – given you get a lot more with their system and 45 min rides included I believe.

  • Anonymous

    The MV part is pretty hysterical. The 30 minute limit can be perfectly fine if you are riding from one pod to another and dropping off the bike. The MV pods are so close, the most likely use would be to ride somewhere and come back, but if you actually do anything at the destination, you’ll run out of time.

    But with the stations at San Antonio and Mountain View, we could argue for more bullets to MV and reduced service to San Antonio Station, since Caltrain riders can now get between stations for $88/year.

  • mikesonn

    Same with the RWC stations, pretty much makes the service worthless but we’ll see how expansion goes.

  • mikesonn

    And to think, David Chiu doesn’t even bike… Oh wait, he does, he just doesn’t support bike infrastructure (even on his main bike commute route).

  • Anonymous

    Joined – and went for the t-shirt. #54

  • The 30 minute limit can be perfectly fine if you are riding from one pod to another and dropping off the bike.

    That’s an interesting point. I wonder if there will be a timeout period between when you drop off a bike and pick one up to prevent this?

  • Anonymous

    Pretty embarrassing that Palo Alto only has 3 stations, all within a few blocks of each other on the same street.

  • Anonymous

    They have something like that in NYC, I don’t think it’s too long. But come on, it took me 15 minutes to ride from Noe Valley to Caltrain. Let’s say the bike share bike is half as slow – but the max distances in the current system are half as long. Most any able bodied person will be able to go from any station in any city to another in the same city in well under 30 minutes.

    If this becomes an issue, I predict the time frame will increase, NYC’s is 45 minutes.

  • Anonymous

    Since a minority of people cycle – a sizeable and growing minority, but still a minority, bike share isn’t a good reason to cut service to San Antonio – which is getting more development. but it can help hold parking down since fewer people will want to drive for their mid-day errands.

    30 minutes is enough for a short errand – toothpaste at walgreens. but 60 minutes isn’t quite long enough for lunch.

  • Pulsifer

    I am a big fan of public and shared transportation means and frequently use my bike to get around the city. However, I am not sure that a bike sharing service will win many SF residents — why should one use a less convenient shared bike when one can use their own one. It can be locked almost anywhere, the riding experience with the own bike is better and most importantly no annual membership commitment is necessary. Perhaps more appropriate for visitors?

  • Anonymous

    Many people live to far away to bike all the way to work. Take public transit most of the way, then bike share the last couple of miles. No need to try to squeeze your personal bike on the train or bus.

  • Have ridden systems in a few American cities: Minneapolis, Salt Lake, and most recently Denver. It’s been useful and fun. There will be hiccups but it will grow and succeed. Woo hoo!

  • mikesonn

    There are many times (at least 1-2 a day) I wish I had access to bikeshare and I own my bike and use it very regularly. Quick one-way trips where I don’t want my bike on the return trip or don’t want to bring my lock or worry about my bike being locked up.

  • Jamison Wieser

    I have a bike, one I would never consider locking up in public and I signed up (member 272) for exactly the same reasons as Mikesonn.

  • Jamison Wieser

    I think a lot of us feel the same way. They have our addresses now so they know where there’s unserved demand (get your neighbors to sign up!) and hopefully there will be enough of us in this same situation where we only use the bikes occasionally that it generates enough revenue to pay for more bike stations (get your neighbors to sign up!)

  • Jamison Wieser

    If you look at the three peninsula stations, they are all very different: Palo Alto with only three, Redwood City and Mountain View with many more, but in one case they are closely spaced and in the other very widely spaced. This is most likely to test different configurations to inform expansion planning.

  • Jamison Wieser

    But 30 minutes is long enough to ride to lunch, eat, then check out another bike for the return trip.

    I can’t find any place on their site that says what the time limit is – if there is one – before you can check out another bike.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, but the problem with requiring the kiosks so close together is that it doesn’t match up with the land use patterns on the Peninsula where there are a lot of destinations within 1-2 miles – perfect biking distance, inconvenient to walk. We need some combination of more spread out kiosks and somewhat longer rentals.

  • Anonymous

    Same with Palo Alto. There are only 3 stations, all on the same street, a few blocks apart. Until they add more stations in other parts of town, bike-share is worthless to residents that don’t take Caltrain up to San Francisco all the time.

  • Anonymous

    Your argument could be, in the limit, applied to buses. Why would you take a bus when you can just drive a car? Because you have to park that car, because you have to drive that car home (after several tasty IPAs), because that car might get messed with.

  • Anonymous

    @pulsifer:disqus In addition to what’s been said below, it solves the “last mile” problem where people take public transit and then have quite a walking distance left. Bringing their own bike is a pain (evidenced by the fact that only a couple percentage point of trips in the city are by bike), so they drive. But with bike share, for many people, they can now make it work without the car. Sure, many people will still choose to drive, but there is a good chunk of the population that is looking for an excuse to get out of the car, and this is one such excuse. The success of bike share not just in the US but around the world testifies to this, and there is no reason to believe that the same dynamics that make it successful elsewhere will not apply here in SF.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been thinking about the Peninsula stations, and I’m skeptical they
    will work anywhere but San Jose and Palo Alto. And for Palo Alto, they
    will only be for trips to Stanford where it will primarily replace
    people taking the Marguerrite from Caltrain (though I suspect it will
    get some out of cars who drive rather than take Caltrain). In MV, for
    example, the Caltrain station is right downtown and everything is within
    walking distance, so I’m having a hard time seeing why somebody would
    use a bike. Maybe some for the novelty of it, but that’s not going to
    generate sufficient interest to keep it afloat. The one at San Antonio may get some decent use, and I think they should focus on that area more.

    To make bike share work on the Peninsula, the stations have to be way more
    spread out from just the downtown area which is already primarily within walking distance. It’s not getting *around* the downtowns that is the issue since they are small, but getting *to* the downtowns. I think the bike share people have missed this point. I think PA has the best potential in this case to provide transit *to* downtown because of the good bike infrastructure. Why not put stations out by the VA, by the Cal Ave station, and in midtown?

    All in all, I would have liked to have seen bay area bike share rolled out different. Dump a ton of stations into SF (like 100) and get it going up there and get the bugs out in a place where riding by bicycle is already doing well. You could maybe roll it out in San Jose at the same time. But only after it’s caught on in these two cities, then start adding Peninsula stations starting with Palo Alto.

  • Anonymous

    It’s 2 minutes. I just signed up and read through the whole contract. You only have to wait 2 minutes, then you can take another bicycle.

  • Pulsifer

    There are definitely good reasons for this service. Excited to see how it will go!

    It would be great, though, to have a membership for more than 3 days and less than a year, let’s say for a month at a reasonable price. So that skeptics like me get a chance to get convinced 🙂

  • Mike

    I’m #277. Signed up last night. Went for the T-Shirt.

    So far the system seems geared entirely to “tech” people, given the locations they’ve chosen for the pilot. I hope it eventually spans the city. The lack of a proposed station west of Van Ness is pretty silly. I imagine it will be rectified at some point.

    Granted, I imagine their roll-out schedule to be on par with TransLink/Clipper. Nothing ever gets done quickly here.

  • Jamison Wieser

    I’m #272, we’re practically neighbors!

    So it sounds better if you frame the pilot area in SF as something like “flat, dense, transit rich, and filled with tech companies that already have a high demand for bike facilities” making this a pretty sure bet for success when it comes time to look for expansion funding.

    The chicken and egg of public infrastructure is that the best way to get funding is to have a successful program already up and running. We just got a reminder of what traffic would be like if didn’t keep funding BART. So that tech crowd may be the driving force that helps get funding grants to expand a successful program.

    It also creates an immense amount of bike share photo fodder for Instagram, a new badge on Foursquare and something else to be mayor of.

    Expanding into the Mission and up Market to the Wiggle, on from there would both be logical next steps because of the network effect growing out from an installed based of stations in SOMA.

  • Jamison Wieser

    How does NYC get away with charging anything? If I were to go around the city advertising for a bank, I’d demand payment.

  • Anonymous

    Why cut service to San Antonio? It’s not like Menlo Park that has bullet service and is less than 1.5 miles from Palo Alto. There are plenty of destinations nearby San Antonio with more planned in the short-term.

    Plus, without a low-stress bike route from San Antonio to downtown Mountain View bike share won’t be used by the “interested but concerned” riders much less the “no way no how” crowd. California St with its skimpy door zone bike lanes certainly won’t draw the masses.

  • Anonymous

    We just need more kiosks and bikes period. The advantage of having the kiosks closer is that if one is empty (or full) you can walk 5 min and find another.

  • Anonymous

    For example, think San Antonio Caltrain and Fabian, which is 1.5-2 miles away. You’d want kiosks in the Fabian area, but it doesn’t make sense to sprinkle kiosks in between.

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