DECOBIKE: San Diego's 2013 Bike Sharing Program

DecoBike A DECOBIKE sharing station in Miamia, FL. Photo credit: Michael E. Miller[/caption]

On Thursday, November 16, the nonprofit San Diego County Bicycle Coalition (SDCBC) congratulated outgoing Mayor Jerry Sanders for tapping DECOBIKE as the city’s 2013 operational bike sharing program.

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization which “advocates for and protects the rights of all people who ride bicycles.” Their aim is to promote bicycling as a mainstream mode of transportation, as well as foster a healthy lifestyle. They have overseen flourishing programs in Florida, as well as in New York, and should prove a positive sustainable mode of transportation for the city.

“Building public-private partnerships like this deserves a lot of credit,” said Andy Hanshaw, executive director of SDCBC in the November 16 release. “We appreciate Mayor Sanders moving ahead to develop this partnership and look forward working with DECOBIKE to make this the best bike sharing program in the country.”

Hanshaw also served on the mayor’s review panel for the selection of Miami-based DECOBIKE as the city’s 2013 bike sharing program.

SDBC has been very proactive in promoting this alternative mode of transportation which has its obvious health benefits, to which Sanders had been more than cooperative with. Members of bike sharing programs like DECOBIKE have saved over hundreds of dollars a year in transportation costs, shown a positive impact on commercial neighborhoods economically, and overall promote San Diego as a bike-friendly city.

City officials say the DECOBIKE ran program will entail 1,800 bicycles and 180 sharing stations. Once the contract is approved, the company and the city will engage stakeholders in the community to determine potential locations. The bike sharing programs should prove to bring about thirty to fifty jobs for each program, and have worked well in other major United States cities, as well as in in Lyon and Paris, France.

A similar program in Boulder, CO, run by B Cycle had 500 bikes, fifty sharing stations, and 102,000 rides in a seven month period. Other cities on the forefront of the bike sharing movement are Minneapolis, Chicago, Washington, New York, Portland, as well as many more.

“Whether it’s tourists, students, Padres fans or grocery shoppers, we know that bike-sharing works to improve the local economy and expand our transportation system.” Hanshaw added. “Bikes are boosting business in San Diego – bike-sharing is another important piece of the pie.”

Though outgoing Mayor Jerry Sanders made the November 16 announcement, it will ultimately be Mayor elect Bob Filner who will be grabbing the handlebars on this sustainable 2013 endeavor.