Matt Brown, PETALUMA ARGUS-COURIER
Sonoma County transportation planners are looking to solve a major dilemma that has potentially suppressed SMART ridership in the rail system’s first year: How do you get riders from the station to their final destination?
For the Sonoma County Transportation Authority, the solution may be a new bikeshare program. The agency received an $800,000 grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to launch a one-year bikeshare pilot.
“There is a lot of interest in how people get to and from trains, and whether station parking is adequate,” said Dana Turrey, a planner with the transportation authority.
The agency is accepting proposals through March and will evaluate them in the spring. The format of the program will depend on the winning bid, but models in other cities include dock-based bikes, which are rented and returned to a fixed dock, and others that can be locked to any location and found using GPS.
The program will initially focus around SMART stations in Sonoma and Marin counties, Turrey said. In Petaluma, that would mean a passenger arriving at the downtown SMART station could pick up a public bike and ride it the last mile to a restaurant or concert in downtown. Other bikes could be stationed at the Petaluma Community Center for riders on the east side, according to the proposal, which calls for about 300 bikes overall.
Read more at https://www.petaluma360.com/news/9307583-181/bikeshare-coming-to-sonoma-county
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.
Read more at: North Bay bike share program seeks $1 million grant | The Press Democrat
Clark Mason, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Healdsburg is on the verge of becoming the first city in Sonoma County to offer a bike-share program to make it easier for people to get around on two wheels.
Described as a fun, low-cost, low-impact transportation alternative, the program was given the green light this week by the City Council.
The 30 short-term rental bikes spread among five “docking stations” is targeted at residents and workers for short trips, not tourists who want to head out to nearby valleys for scenery and wineries.
It’s envisioned for use by employees who might park at the train depot and take a bike into downtown, or for those who might want to use a bike to go to lunch from their workplace to the Healdsburg Plaza.
Vice-mayor Brigette Mansell described it as a “culture shift,” and a way to get people out of cars.
Read more at: Bike-share program coming to Healdsburg | The Press Democrat