Bike share coming in January


SAN DIEGO - The company launching San Diego’s first bike-sharing program announced this week that it has completed installation of 80 stations that will be activated by the end of January.

A variety of hurdles have delayed the program this year, but DecoBike officials said they are now ready to go with a large group of bike stations in downtown, Hillcrest and nearby communities. Installation began in October and the company’s technical team is now linking the network together.

The city’s network is slated to expand in the future to 180 stations, including many in San Diego’s beach communities.

“We feel the downtown and uptown stations offer enough variety to riders and then we will continue to install all the stations in surrounding communities at the same time people are out riding,” said David Silverman, marketing director for DecoBike.

Those 180 stations exclude suburban neighborhoods, such as Rancho Peñasquitos and Tierrasanta, communities near the border and everywhere east of 30th Street. But those communities could eventually get stations.

Bike sharing is a new form of transportation that’s gaining worldwide momentum. Commuters, tourists and residents will be able to pay a fee to rent bicycles and drop them off anywhere along the network of stations.

The bikes will reduce congestion and pollution by filling in small gaps in the transportation network, encouraging more people to choose cycling and mass transit over cars, city officials say.

“Bike share is an alternative mode of transportation that is environmentally friendly and will enhance the vibrancy of our city,” said Natasha Collura, the city’s director of corporate partnerships.

The program was expected to begin last year, but DecoBike shifted strategies.

“Rather than activate a small network of stations as first planned, DecoBike decided the best option would be to wait for a larger network,” Silverman said.

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Source: DiscoverSD