The city is considering installing a bike-sharing system in Davis for residents or students who need to get from point A to point B but don’t have the means to do so.
Dave “DK” Kemp, the city’s active transportation coordinator, hosted a demonstration in collaboration with UC Davis outside of City Hall on Friday, and at the Davis Farmers Market on Saturday, where interested residents could come and check out how the whole thing worked.
B-Cycle, a Wisconsin-based bike sharing company, was on hand to provide their automated check-out stations to help put on the demonstration.
Essentially, anyone can walk up to a bike sharing kiosk, slide their credit cards and check out a bike to get to places they want to go.
The bike, which is locked into the station until a customer checks one out, is equipped with a GPS system that keeps track of the length of time riders have had the bikes out for, and also for theft prevention.
B-Cycle, one of several companies that the city could use for their program, charges $5 for the first hour and then $3 for additional half hours. Each bike — mostly road bikes — is equipped with a basket, light and lock to accommodate all kinds of riders.
Once the bicyclists are finished, they simply can find the nearest kiosk and lock the bike back in place for the next user.
According to Kemp, the program is geared towards commuters and for those taking short trips to promote sharing. It’s not really a bike rental program.
“There’s always a lot of people coming and going in Davis, especially through the train station,” Kemp said. “Well, we’re trying to promote and provide active transportation for those people.”
Kemp also said that the program would suit tourists who are visiting town and don’t have bikes with them.
The bike-sharing program comes as yet another cog in the city’s bicycle-action plan called Beyond Platinum, a plan to enhance all bicycling aspects of the community over the next five years.
Though, it may be a while before residents may see the bike-share program.
The city of Davis and neighboring cities like Sacramento will conduct a study to see how the program might best be implemented in the region next year. Once that is finished the city of Davis would still have to identify funding sources to pay for the program.
Kemp says that the city could step up, but that it will look for help from other stakeholders in the community like the university.
“We’re trying to be the catalyst,” Kemp said.
The program may not be implemented until 2014.
For more information on B-Cycle, visit www.bcycle.com
— Reach Tom Sakash at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-747-8057. Follow him on Twitter @TomSakash.