Kevin McCallum, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Getting to and from local rail stations could one day be as easy as riding a bike if Sonoma and Marin counties win a $1 million grant to set up a regional bike sharing program.
Transportation planners from both counties are hoping that funding from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission will allow them to build a network of about 180 rentable bicycles.
The bikes are viewed not only as a way to help people shift to a low-impact form of transportation, but also to make it easier for Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit riders to get from rail stations to their next destination.
“Bike share programs offer the option for that last mile that makes transportation trips even more appealing,” said Suzanne Smith, executive director of the Sonoma County Transportation Authority.
The SCTA and its counterpart to the south, the Transportation Authority of Marin, are jointly applying for about half of the approximately $2 million the MTC has made available for such programs in suburban areas, said Derek McGill, planning manager for the Transportation Authority of Marin.
While bike share programs have been very effective in urban areas, there is interest in seeing if they can be successfully rolled out in smaller cities, McGill said.