Monday, March 28, 2011

San Antonio Bike Sharing Kickoff

On our visit to San Antonio, we just happened to be there during the kick of the City's Bike Share program. I first read about the system in the San Antonio news paper, but then noticed on Twitter that it was picked up by TransportationNation and a few other websites. The bikes were from Trek's BCycle and the stations look very similar to the ones I saw in DC. The San Antonio program started with 14 stations in the heaviest tourist areas throughout the City with plans to develop more as the system grows. I like how this might raise awareness of the City beyond the Riverwalk, San Antonio has some beautiful architecture throughout the City. Assessment of the Bikes I didn't ride these bikes, but they look more like bikes you might buy (I am sure this is Trek's influence). I liked the baskets a little better in this system then what I saw in DC. There was a cable lock in the basket, which might actually be a bad thing (giving unsuspecting users a false sense of security). The pricing structure is a little different (see link above in the title for details) and I was a little put off by the $10 day long membership as compared to the $5 that you experience in DC. $10 might work in DC considering that the Metro back and forth is expensive, but in San Antonio perhaps the thinking is that you're not competing with the subway, so this is the justification for the more expensive entry price. The policy issues associated with competition with the private sector bike rentals and transit are interesting to me and I am sure there's a report somewhere on the subject. I was amused by the San Antonio newspaper citing one of the respondent's note that they were excited that the City was doing this before Austin, the Texas City that is leading the way with other bicycle applications.
Lastly, I thought the advertising was fairly subtle on these bikes. I know there is concern related to this issue and am unsure how I feel about having my bike plastered with an advertisement. If I had read No Logo perspective I would be more informed as to the opposition.

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