On January 6, the San Mateo County Transportation Authority Board of Directors voted to approve allocation of $80,000 of Measure A funds to match $6.5 million in regional grant funds being applied to a bicycle share program. The regional grants were not eligible for infrastructure projects, making bicycle sharing an ideal application. The approval is a big win for cyclists for a number of reasons:
- Providing convenient access to bicycles is a great way to foster new and beginning cyclists.
- Access to a bicycle sharing system will reduce commute and lunchtime vehicle traffic.
- Matching funds have already been approved in Santa Clara and San Francisco Counties; foregoing the system in San Mateo County would disrupt the continuity of the system along a heavily traveled commute corridor.
- The system preserves the already small footprint for downtown Redwood City - bike hubs would be conveniently located near the library, the city and county government centers, Kaiser Permanente, and the Caltrain station.
- The close proximity to government centers will give city and county leaders the opportunity to try using the bikes for themselves. The bikes will serve as a participatory means of advocating for better streets and other bike facilities.
SVBC is excited to work with all the involved agencies on development of the new bike share network. The more people have access to bikes, the more they will bike, increasing goodwill toward cyclists and cycling.