Bicycle-sharing coming to San Diego, but it won’t be cheap

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bikeshare1A bike-sharing program, such as those already up and rolling in many other U.S. cities, is finally coming to America’s Finest. After navigating through many obstacles and impediments, the service  is scheduled to start pedaling its way through our streets by the beginning of November. It is expected to be the most pricey bike-sharing enterprise in America.

Around and about our nation, the basic two-wheel vehicle sharing concept can be found: the customer purchases a daily, monthly or yearly membership pass which allows them the use of the bicycles for a half an hour at a time. Continued use of the same bike will incur charges beyond the membership fee, $5 for every additional half hour in San Diego.bikeshare2

In the local fee structure, yearly passes will cost $125, monthly will be $20, and a daily pass sets you back $15. Dropping off the original bike and switching to another one is free, so our share system is more likely to be used for commuting or getting to a commuting service such as the trolley, than for long recreational jaunts or exercising purposes.

Those prices will be the highest in the country. Second would be Miami Beach, with a bike-share operated by the same company as here, DecoBike. Membership for a month is $5 dollars less than ours will be. One of the least expensive services is in Minneapolis, where yearly passes are only $65 and monthly tickets cost just $15.

bikeshare3Riding around the U.S., New York City ($95/year), San Francisco ($88), Denver ($80) and Washington, D.C. ($75) are all less expensive than San Diego’s share-a-bike looks to be. One reason given for this is that in those cities, the municipal government subsidizes the biking program. Here in San Diego, DecoBike has invested more than $7 million to fully fund the enterprise, and the city expects to receive upwards of $1.5 million dollars from the venture, without investing any taxpayer money.

For more information and to join, go to DecoBike. For interesting reading on bikes and San Diego transportation in general, both currently and historically, go to BikeSD.

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