When I went to Montreal a million years ago (ok, four years ago), I was enthralled with their “Bixi” city bicycle share. The bright red bikes were tantalizing, and I wanted so badly to rent one and pedal down the physically separated bicycle lanes, pretending that I was French Canadian.
Alas, it was my first solo trip for pleasure. Also my first solo trip abroad. I didn’t have the nerves yet to risk biking in another country when I didn’t even know the local word for “HOSPITAL”. The years passed and I’ve changed my tune. I love traveling alone, and I love biking while traveling, whether I’m in DC or Cambodia. I haven’t had an international accident yet, fingers crossed.
So needless to say I’m pretty psyched about the new Bay Area Bicycle Share, which launched today! The stations in San Francisco are in tourist hotspots (downtown, Chinatown, along the water), which makes sense, since the bikes are intended for short trips- 30 min or so. I’m honestly not sure how these bikes help with the “last mile” problem, since all of this area is covered by public transport, but whatever.
I took the above photo the other day. I think it explains San Francisco pretty well. All the walks of life are represented 🙂 . The Asian businessman with an open container of beer, the Civic Center rabblerousers, European tourists, random teenagers, commuters. We’re all here, and we all want to poke and prod the gorgeous new bikes.
Prices seem pretty reasonable- 9$ for a day membership, 22$ for 3 days, and then you can also do a full year’s membership for 88$. Having a membership offers you unlimited 30 min rides during your time period. I have a bike but I have to admit I would love to try BABS out. Good for those nights I don’t want to drag my bike out, but need to get around fast.