Friday, January 27, 2012

OCTA launching bike share program

Fullerton is to be the location, starting with 15 stations and 150 bikes.

With college students in mind, transportation officials are envisioning installing the first bicycle-sharing station in the city of Fullerton to offer a band of bikes for short trips in the area.
"Fullerton appears to have more overall demand given the nearby downtown, proximity of destinations to the Metrolink station, three local colleges in the area, and a network of bike-friendly infrastructure," Orange County Transportation Authority officials said in a report.

This week, the agency's board approved putting out bids and is expected to choose a contractor for the project by May. OCTA's budget for the pilot program: $921,000.
So far, the plan is to install 15 stations with 150 bicycles serving an area of about two square miles. Officials expect that the program will grow at the Fullerton pilot location and launch in other areas of the county as funding and demand warrant.
Wes Parsel, bikeways coordinator for the agency, said the rental bicycle program is aimed toward commuters traveling fewer than 30 minutes and less than three miles, whether to get to their jobs or to run short errands.
"Especially the first and last mile from work ... from your bus or the train," said OCTA spokeswoman Laura Scheper.
The initial focus is to connect local colleges and universities with Metrolink stations, so the customers will be college students, staff and faculty.

This is a rather pleasant surprise given Orange County's poor reputation on transit. On the other hand, OCTA was responsible for the introduction of bike cars on Metrolink if memory serves. I would be more surprised by this failing than it succeeding (with the caveat that I'm not familiar enough with bike share programs to spot any glaring failures with implementation), especially in south county where bike lanes are prevalent and there are a number of destinations near Metrolink stations.

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