I attended the bike share open house hosted by the City of Sacramento last night. There were as many people representing partners and consultants as members of the public, and I did not see any low income or people of color. SACOG staff were present, as SACOG is the sponsoring agency for the bike share program, staff from Toole Design Group which is managing planning and selection of bike rack locations, and staff from JUMP, the selected bike share vendor.
Some things to report:
- Rollout date is between the middle of May and the end of June.
- There will be 900 bikes total, about 600 in the City of Sacramento and the remainder in West Sacramento and Davis.
- The bikes will be limited to 15 mph, even though they are designed to operate at up to 20 mph. Under state law, Class 1 bikes can operate with pedal assist up to 20 mph, but a decision was made to limit them based on (probably misplaced) safety concerns.
- The service area is considerably larger than the pilot Tower Bridge Bike Share, a very positive sign. You can see the boundary at http://wikimapping.net/wikimap/SACOG_Bikeshare.html, and add suggestions while you are there. Scroll to the left to see the Davis section. The open house had a large paper map for the same purpose.
- There will be some sort of discount for low income people using the system, probably the JUMP Boost program, which is a $5 membership the first year, and $5/month thereafter, for 60 minutes of ride per day. In Sacramento, the eligibility might be based on SMUD status. At least initially, the only other option will be the standard $2 for the first 30 minutes and $2/hour after that, prorated. Other types of membership or charge may be implemented later.
- Nearly the entire service area in Sacramento is moderate and high income, with just a small area in neighborhoods south of Broadway and around Power Inn being included. The city doesn’t have a plan yet for how to reach out to these potential users, and others not included in the boundary.
- Bike racks will be provided in a quantity of at least two per bike in the system, so 1800 rack spaces. The use of these racks will be discouraged for other bicycles, in order to keep the spaces open for the bike share bikes. Bikes will be required to be parked at these hubs or stations at the termination of the ride, though they can be put on hold (with the meter running) at any other location. Leaving a bike away from a hub incurs a fee of $2, the same as the current SoBi system. Popular and busy locations will have multiple racks, while other have fewer, or one. Many or most of the locations, particularly outside the central city, do not have bike racks yet, so these will be added by JUMP before rollout. The user agreement requires that bikes be locked to a bike rack, not to other objects or left free-standing. It is not a dockless system.
- JUMP has designed charging racks where a parked bike will charge. Larger locations will have some of these charging racks, though it is not clear if they will be installed at rollout.
There are two additional open houses scheduled, both in Davis. Friday, March 2, 11 to 1 at UC Davis bus terminal, and Saturday, March 3, 9:30 to 1 at the Davis Farmers Market. These will be less formal, and will offer the opportunity to ride the JUMP electric bike.