SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A city-wide bike share program that kicked off in Sacramento two weeks ago is now taking off. The new program promises to give commuters another cheap option to get around town. The concept is pick up a bike at one of many racks, and roll.
But is Sacramento bike friendly enough for a bike sharing program to work?
Bob and Colleen Yates cruise from Curtis Park to Midtown Sacramento every weekend.
“We don’t usually even touch our cars on the weekends,” said Bob.
Now, the Yates can park their bikes at home too, in place of a new social bicycle.
At $4 an hour or $15 a month, anyone can pick up a shiny white bike at one of the several kiosks in town, and return it at another on the other end of town, free of charge. Think Zip Car for bikes.
“It’s less than an Uber,” said Colleen.
It’s affordable, and soon, more accessible.
“I feel like you’re going to see bikes all over,” said Councilman Steve Hansen.
This fall, Sacramento’s bike sharing program will expand from 50 to close to 1,000 bikes, with rack locations stretching from Sacramento to Davis.
The question is whether Sacramento has enough room for more riders.
Jim Brown is the executive director of Sacramento Area Bike Advocates of Sacramento. He says “not necessarily,” but bike share can help the city get on track.
“Having more bikes on the street is going to increase the focus on why it is that we, for example, can’t easily get to the arena from here,” said Brown.
In Midtown Sacramento, the bike scene is getting more space on the road. The city recently approved funding for three protected bike lanes, which are expected to roll out in midtown by the end of the year. The lanes will have barriers like plants to make sure cars steer clear of cyclists.
Major cities like New York and San Francisco already have buffer lanes. And Brown says bike shares in places like Denver and Washington helped launch new “bike infrastructure.”
“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Brown.
“I think if you can spread it out it always helps,” said Bob.