A bike-sharing system similar to what San Francisco has been using since June may soon come to Richmond.
Last week, Richmond was recommended to receive $825,000 from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) to build bike stations in the city that would allow local residents to rent out two-wheelers at any time of the day or night for short trips.
Richmond has not won the grant just yet. On Wednesday, Nov. 8, the MTC’s Programming and Allocations Committee will meet to decide whether to forward Richmond’s application for the bike share funding to the full commission for final approval.
In May 2015, MTC entered into a contract with Motivate International, Inc. to deliver, install and operate a bike share system of at least 7,000 bikes and associated stations in five cities including San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Berkeley and Emeryville. That led to Ford GoBike launching in San Francisco this past summer and then afterward the other four cities. Currently, more than 2,500 of the 7,000 bikes, and 239 of the 540 stations, have been deployed.
In September, the system was averaging 3,300 trips per day.
Richmond has been recommended for funding because MTC additionally approved $4.5 million in federal funds to expand the bike sharing system beyond the five selected cities.
Lori Reese-Brown, transportation project manager in the Richmond City Manager’s office, prepared and submitted the grant proposal, receiving technical assistance from the transportation consulting firm Nelson\Nygaard, which is also working on the city’s first mile/last mile transportation plan.
“Bike share is designed as personalized public transportation that operates 24 hours/day and 7 days/week, with the main purpose of providing short one-way trips,” according to the City Manager’s Office.