Bay Area – 511 Contra Costa

BIKE TO WORK DAY 2019

Pledge to Ride on Bike To Work Day

Add to Calendar

Photos from Bike To Work Day 2019

If you stopped by a Contra Costa Energizer Station on Bike To Work Day, or perhaps the Bike Happy Hour at Todos Santos Plaza, check out our photo gallery – you might see yourself or someone you know!

Contra Costa’s 2019 Bike Commuter of the Year

Contra Costa County’s 2019 Bike Commuter of the Year is John Cunningham!

A longtime cyclist, John is a Principal Planner for Contra Costa County’s Transportation Planning Division who quite literally walks the talk. Aware of the increasing need for infrastructure improvements, John works tirelessly to make commute routes throughout the county safe and expeditious for cyclists and pedestrians.

John cycles daily from his home in Lamorinda to his workplace in Martinez. “In the dry months my commute gets me out in nature; my preferred route takes me through Briones Regional Park.” But he is far from being a fair-weather rider; John cycles to work in the wind and rain, in the cold and dark days of winter, and even during the East Bay’s brutal summer heat. His coworkers find that pretty impressive.

“He has increased our department’s awareness of the need for new infrastructure for cycling, as well as expressing a commitment to combating climate change and reducing air pollution. Why, just the pictures on his office wall of cycling efforts have increased interest for taking up the hobby,” explains his colleague Anna Battagello.

Keep up the good work, John, and happy Bike to Work Day on May 9th!

Tips: Getting Ready to Bike Commute

Don’t feel like you’ll be ‘road ready’ in time for Bike To Work Day? Preparing to bike commute isn’t as difficult as you might think. Taking a little time to get familiar with your bike, figure out how to carry your stuff & find a good route (or even a bike buddy) can make things much easier.

Take the guesswork out of preparing for May 9 with our Six Tips & Tricks to Get You Ready for Bike To Work Day!

Bike + BART: Taking Your Bike On Board

If commuting all the way from home to work seems daunting, it’s not cheating to make the distance more manageable by adding BART into your commute. Although bikes are now allowed on BART at all times, there are some rules to be aware of, which include:

  • Bikes are never allowed on crowded cars
  • Bikes are not allowed in the first car
  • Bikes are not allowed in the first three cars during commute hours
  • Folded bikes are allowed in all cars at all times
  • Bicyclists must use elevators or stairs, not escalators

To read the full list of rules, visit the Bikes on BART webpage.

Bike Mapper: Choose the Route Best for You

511 Contra Costa’s Bike Mapper is an innovative bicycle mapping system designed to find the flattest, most direct, or fastest route anywhere in Contra Costa. Read more about the 511CC Interactive Bike Mapper here, or check out our selection of free paper and online bike maps.

Warm Up with Classes or Group Rides

You’ll find everything from social rides to classes geared towards improving your confidence on the bike on our Bike Events page.

Video Highlights from Bike To Work Day 2018

Wondering what Bike To Work Day is like? Check out the video below.

Video credit: Ford Tivakul

Employers: Tips on Encouraging Bike Commuting

If you’re an employer and want to inspire more of your employees to commute by bike, we can help! You’ll find some great strategies on promoting bike commuting year-round at in the official Bike To Work Day Employer Toolkit.

Energizer Station Map: Contra Costa

Find a station along your route and plan to stop for refreshments, good cheer, and free swag.

Return to Top of Page

Contra Costa County Energizer Station List

PM hours in bold

Antioch

Brentwood

Concord

Danville

El Cerrito

  • Ohlone Greenway Natural Area half way up the block from at the El Cerrito Plaza BART, 7:00-9:00 am, City of El Cerrito
  • El Cerrito del Norte BART Station, 7:00-9:00 am, 511 Contra Costa

El Sobrante

Lafayette

Martinez

  • Central San (4797 Imhoff Pl.), 6:30-8:30 am, Central San
  • Martinez Amtrak Station, 5:30-9:30 am, Citizen Volunteer Dick A.
  • Veteran’s Memorial Building (930 Ward St.), 7:00-9:00 am, Martinez American Legion Post 29
  • Contra Costa Canal Trail x Center Ave., 7:00-9:00 am, Contra Costa Green Business Program

Moraga

  • Commons Park (Corner of Moraga & St Marys Rd.), 6:30-9:00 am, Town of Moraga

Orinda

Pittsburg

Pleasant Hill

Richmond

San Pablo

San Ramon

Walnut Creek

Return to Top of Page

About Bike To Work Day

On Thursday, May 9, there will be over 400 Energizer Stations throughout the Bay Area where cyclists can stop for refreshments, free Bike To Work Day bags, and promotional items.

Sponsors

511 Contra Costa has supported cyclists and Energizer Station hosts throughout Contra Costa County since 2001 using Bay Area Air Quality Management District funds and the Contra Costa Transportation Authority’s half-cent sales tax for transportation funds.

Bike to Work Day 2019 is presented by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, 511 and Alaska Airlines.

Quick Start Guide: Bike To Work Day 2019

Bike To Work Day (BTWD) is coming! Be sure to mark your calendars for May 9 to join us and thousands of other Bay Area commuters in biking to work.
Our BTWD information page has all the resources you’ll need to get started, including:

Locating Free Stuff: Check our map to find an Energizer Station on your route to work, so you can stop to enjoy snacks, encouragement, a free BTWD bag, and cool swag.

Easy Routes: Use the 511CC Bike Mapper to build your ideal bike commute based on your preferences, including avoiding hills.

Tips & Tricks: Preparation for BTWD isn’t that difficult, and we’ll walk you through it so you can have fun on one of the most enjoyable commuting days of the year.

Party Time: There are Bike Happy Hours at the end of the work day on May 9. They’re free, you’re invited, and you’ll find them (marked in yellow) on our map.

Warm Up with Classes or Rides: You’ll find everything from social rides to classes geared towards improving your confidence on the bike on our Bike Events page.

Bike + BART: It’s not cheating to use BART and your bike to get to work on BTWD. Just familiarize yourself with BART’s guidelines before the big day.

Need more information or want to pledge to ride on May 9? Click the button below.

Get More Info on Bike To Work Day

How to ‘Casual Carpool’

Did you know you can catch a ride across the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge without an app for an average cost of $1? You can! And it’s not a new service, it’s Casual Carpool – helping commuters reduce their travel time between San Francisco & the East Bay for almost 40 years.
Offering a dollar to the driver (to contribute to the $2.50 toll and gas) is just one of the ‘unspoken’ rules of Casual Carpool. Watch this short video featuring interviews with regular riders!
If you’re interested in giving it a try, click through to find a Casual Carpool pickup location convenient for you. There are locations as close to the Bridge as Oakland, Berkeley & El Cerrito, and as far out as Lafayette and Hercules.

BIKE TO WORK DAY 2017 – THURSDAY, MAY 11

Bike to Work Day is a promotional event to encourage the use of a bicycle instead of a car

About Bike To Work Day

On Thursday, May 11, almost 10,000 Bay Area cyclists celebrated National Bike Month by commuting to work by bicycle! 400+ Energizer Stations were set up dwhere cyclists could stop for refreshments and promotional items.
511 Contra Costa has supported cyclists and Energizer Station hosts throughout Contra Costa County since 2001 using Bay Area Air Quality Management District funds and the Contra Costa Transportation Authority’s half-cent sales tax for transportation funds.
Bike to Work Day 2017 was presented by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, 511 and Kaiser Permanente.  Regional sponsors included the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), Clear Channel Outdoor and Clif Bar.

Wondering what Bike To Work Day looked like across Contra Costa? Click any thumbnail below to access our gallery of photos from energizer stations across the county, or view them on Facebook. We also suggest visiting the photo gallery at YouCanBikeThere.com. (Note: As energizer stations hosts send in photos, we’ll be adding them. If you have photos to share, email them to tips@511contracosta.org!)

Morning Energizer Stations

Brentwood: City Park at 2nd & Oak St – Host: Delta Pedalers Bicycle Club

Concord BART Station – Host: Bank of America & TRC Solutions

Concord: Monument Corridor Trail at Monument Blvd – Host: City of Concord

Martinez: Imhoff Pl & Imhoff Dr (Central San HQ) – Host: Central San

Martinez: John Muir National Historic Site – Host: John Muir National Historic Site

Walnut Creek: Contra Costa Canal Trail off of N Wiget Ln – Host: Renaissance ClubSport

Walnut Creek: Iron Horse & Contra Costa Canal Trail – Hosts: 511CCCCTAEBRPD

Walnut Creek: Olympic Blvd & Newell Ave – Host: Walnut Creek: Walnut Creek BART – Host: Bike Walnut Creek

Walnut Creek: Walnut Creek City Hall – Host: City of Walnut Creek

Afternoon Energizer Stations

Concord: Todos Santos Plaza – Host: Bike Concord

Walnut Creek: Iron Horse & Contra Costa Canal Trail – Hosts: 511CCCCTAEBRPD

Walnut Creek: Walnut Creek BART – Host: Bike Walnut Creek

Any Day Can Be Bike to Work Day

1st time biking to work PHill to San RamonBike To Work Day is a great time to try commuting by bike, but it doesn’t have to be the only day you give it a shot! Just remember: Biking to work is all about what works for you. Maybe the weather, or having a bike buddy, or the copious amounts of stuff you have to haul on a bike factors into your decision to cycle to work, and that’s okay!
Biking to work should be enjoyable, so pick days when riding seems fun and reasonable, then go for it. Do that and you might find yourself planning more rides to work. Just like these first-time Bike To Work Day participants.

Tips: Preparing to Bike Commute

Need help getting ready to ride to work? Preparing for a bike commute isn’t as difficult as you might think. Taking a little time to get familiar with your bike, figure out how to carry your stuff & find a good route (or even a bike buddy) can make things much easier.
Take the guesswork out of preparing with our Tips & Tricks for Bike Commuting!

Isabella Zizi: 2017 Contra Costa Bike Commuter of the Year

Bike Party is what made Isabella Zizi start riding as an adult. That’s where “I broke in my orange ’70s Peugeot and introduced it to the fun.” Those rides opened the door to her commuting by bike, and she now regularly uses her bike to commute the six miles to Gathering Tribes in Albany, a Native American arts, crafts & jewelry store.
For Isabella, biking is more than just transportation, it provides a link to her community and its history. These days she rides the Richmond Greenway, but she used to live by it before it was green. “It was just dirt and rocks, and now it has been transformed. I love the connections it provides. The edible garden, the murals, it is so cool to see everything come to life and be open to the whole community.” During rides around Richmond, she also builds connections with her neighbors and strengthens friendships with other riders.
To get further inspired, read the rest of Isabella’s story and the stories of other 2017 Bike Commuter of the Year winners at YouCanBikeThere.com!

Bike Mapper: Choose the Route Best for You

511 Contra Costa’s Bike Mapper is an innovative bicycle mapping system designed to find the flattest, most direct, or fastest route anywhere in Contra Costa. Read more about the 511CC Interactive Bike Mapper here, or check out our selection of free paper and online bike maps.

Employers: Tips on Encouraging Bike Commuting

If you’re an employer and want to inspire more of your employees to commute by bike, we can help! You’ll find some great strategies on promoting bike commuting year-round when you download the Bike To Work Day Employer Toolkit!

Thanks to Our 2017 Energizer Station Hosts!

Summer Spare the Air Season Is Here: Stay Informed (2016)

Spare the AirSummer Spare the Air Season is upon us! Get Spare the Air Alerts & other air quality information sent directly to your phone with the iSmog App.
During the summer months, ozone levels in the Bay Area can exceed Federal health-based standards. The Air District’s Spare the Air program issues alerts to let residents know when air quality is expected to be unhealthy. Beyond encouraging people to drive less on high-pollution days, Spare the Air alerts provide critical information for people who suffer from asthma or other respiratory problems.
With 511CC’s free iSmog app for iPhone, you’ll receive Spare the Air alerts and be able to display air quality information for the Bay Area as an easy-to-understand map. Users with allergies or other environmental sensitivities are able to customize air quality notifications based on their level of sensitivity & geographic area.
Download the iSmog app for iPhone, or visit the SpareTheAir.org for more information on how to stay updated on Bay Area air quality.
 

Construction: I-680 from Walnut Creek to San Ramon (Through Fall 2016)

bayareaexpresslanes
Bay Area Express Lanes I-680Construction of a portion of the Bay Area Express Lanes on I-680 (between Walnut Creek and San Ramon) has begun and is scheduled to last approximately 15 months. Construction includes installation of variable message signs and overhead toll readers, concrete foundations for overhead freeway sign structures, and laying conduit and fiber optic communications cables for traffic management system communications.
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) is scheduling construction work so that it will have minimal impacts on traffic. Construction will mainly occur at night, although there may be occasional activity on the shoulder and on arterial streets adjacent to the highway during the day to complete the communications network. Nighttime construction will typically involve closing one or two highway lanes, depending on the nature of the work.

Click for More on How Express Lanes Work

Express Lanes are specially-designated highway lanes that offer toll-free travel for carpools, vanpools, transit, motorcycles and eligible clean air vehicles. Solo drivers also have the choice to pay a toll to use the lanes for a more reliable trip. The Express Lanes between Walnut Creek and San Ramon will have an open access configuration, similar to HOV lanes.
The I-680 Express Lanes between Walnut Creek and San Ramon are scheduled to open in fall of 2016. For more information, you can visit bayareaexpresslanes.org or email info@bayareaexpresslanes.org to request project updates.
Construction is a dynamic process and information is subject to change without notice. Work is subject to weather conditions.

New BART Schedule Underway: Aims to Provide Crowding Relief (Sept. 2015)

Monday, September 14, was the first day for BART’s new train schedule, designed to provide crowding relief while the Bay waits for the Fleet of the Future to arrive.  The number of cars scheduled to be in service during the rush hours will be at a record high, with additional improvements provided during non-peak hours.
bartlogoService Improvement Highlights

  • Rush hour trains added to Pittsburg/Bay Point to SFO line
  • Richmond to Millbrae line direct weekday service extended to 9pm
  • Train cars added during rush hours to all other transbay routes
  • The elimination of the three car train
  • More show-up-and-go service for BART to OAK

Pittsburg/Bay Point Line
All rush hour Pittsburg/Bay Point- San Francisco International Airport (SFO) line trains, which operate end-to-end, will be lengthened to the maximum length of 10 cars. These transbay trains also serve riders transferring from the Richmond Line in Oakland.
BART will keep trains long for an additional 15 minutes during weekday mornings on the Pittsburg/Bay Point line to accommodate the increase in riders travelling later in the morning.
Richmond-Millbrae Line
Richmond-Millbrae service will be extended by one hour on weekday evenings, meaning an extra hour of direct service.  The last train will depart Millbrae for Richmond at 9:01pm and Embarcadero at 9:33pm.
Richmond-Fremont Line
All three-car trains will be lengthened to four cars on the Richmond/Fremont line during all non-commute times, marking the end of the three-car train at BART.
For more information, read the full story on BART.gov.

You're Invited: Plan Bay Area 2040 Open House – Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Give feedback to help shape the future of Contra Costa County and the Bay Area at an MTC Plan Bay Area Open House – Wednesday, April 29!
Plan Bay Area 2040
Plan Bay Area is a roadmap to help Bay Area cities and counties adapt to the challenges of future population growth. Attendees will have the opportunity to view displays and offer comments on long-term goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light-duty trucks, house the region’s projected population, improve public health, maintain the region’s transportation infrastructure and preserve open space. Developing Plan Bay Area 2040 is a collaborative process, so community input is vital in shaping the finished plan.
There will be one Open House held in each of the Bay Area’s nine counties. People are welcome to attend the session(s) of their choosing. There are two Open Houses this week:

Contra Costa County Alameda County
Wednesday, April 29 Wednesday, April 29
7pm-9pm 7pm-9pm
Marriott Alameda County Fairgrounds – Palm Pavillion
2355 North Main Street 4501 Pleasanton Avenue
Walnut Creek Pleasanton*

*Wheels will be running extended bus service on Route 53 to accommodate those attending the Plan Bay Area Open House in Pleasanton.
For more details, visit the Plan Bay Area Open House webpage, contact info@planbayarea.org or call (510) 817-5757. For transit route information, visit 511.org.
 

BART Seeking Rider Input on January 2016 Fare Increase

BART carBART has announced a 3.4 percent regular fare increase, scheduled for January 1, 2016. The estimated $15 million in added annual revenue will fund BART’s highest priority capital needs including new rail cars, an automated train control system, and an expanded maintenance facility.
BART wants rider feedback and will be taking comments through April 28. You can send your input by email (fares@bart.gov), phone (510-464-6752), taking their online survey, or by fax or US mail. For more information, see the official BART press release.

Bay Area Climate Protection Strategy Workshop (2014)

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District invites you to  a workshop on the Clean Air Plan and to initiate development of a Bay Area Climate Protection Strategy.
When: February 28, 2014, 9:30 am – 11:30 am
Where: Air District Office, 939 Ellis Street, San Francisco, 7th Floor
The purpose of the workshop is:

  • To kick off the planning process for updating the Clean Air Plan
  • To initiate the planning process to develop a Climate Protection Strategy for the Bay Area, which will be included as new element of the Clean Air Plan
  • To report progress on implementing the control measures in the 2010 Clean Air Plan
  • To solicit ideas and strategies to further reduce ozone precursors (nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds), particulate matter, toxic air contaminants, and greenhouse gases
  • To seek input on innovative strategies to reduce greenhouse gases, mechanisms for tracking progress in reducing GHGs, and how the Air District may further support actions to reduce GHGs
  • To describe future steps and the overall schedule in developing the Clean Air Plan update and Bay Area Climate Protection Strategy

Contact: Christy Riviere at 415-749-4925 or criviere@baaqmd.gov
See the flyer for more information or visit: http://www.baaqmd.gov/Divisions/Planning-and-Research/Plans/Clean-Air-Plan-Update.aspx
The workshop will be webcasted LIVE on the above listed at  http://www.baaqmd.gov/Divisions/Planning-and-Research/Plans/Clean-Air-Plan-Update.aspx.  Take transit!  Civic Center BART station and MUNI lines 47, 49, 38  are  nearby.  Bike racks located onsite. More transit info at  www.511.org.

Visualizing Bay Area Commute Patterns

ActiveMaps
(A still of commute patterns in the East Bay. Screen grab via: Activemaps)

Data is an empowering and effective tool for better understanding our everyday lives, and when that information can be easily digested through visuals we are all the more grateful. With this in mind, a thank you is due to UC Berkeley planning Ph.D. student Fletcher Foti, who recently  compiled commute patterns in greater New York, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area, and created an interactive visualization called “Active Maps.” Active Maps shows a day of travel from recent travel surveys and can be sorted by income and zoomed to specific areas. Each circle represents a person, and the size of the circle represents the age of the person. When looking at the East Bay, it’s interesting to note regardless of income, transit and walking appear to be most prevalent  around Berkeley and Oakland whereas the surrounding parts of Alameda and Contra Costa County appear more car-dependent.
For additional coverage, visit The Atlantic City and San Francisco Streetsblog.
*(Note: the default map is for New York, though you can click on the drop-down bar to select the San Francisco Bay Area)
 

Bay Area Bike-Share– Helping Us Get Around (2013)

Bay Area Bike Share launch in San Jose CA
Will the streets of the Bay Area soon be full with a sea of bike-share commuters cycling that last mile from BART to the workplace? Only time will tell. Photo credit: Richard Masoner
The Bay Area is not new to transportation innovations. Last year, we celebrated four successful decades of the visionary commuter rail known as BART, which stills sees climbing ridership  and continues be seen as a model of sustainable transportation for the rest of the nation. Coincidentally, last year also marked the 75th anniversary of another incredible Bay Area infrastructural transportation monument, the Golden Gate Bridge.
Today, the Bay Area is leading the way in California again*, albeit with a subtler and humbler infrastructural feature, but one that nonetheless has the potential to hugely impact the way we move– Bay Area Bike Share. Bay Area Bike Share just launched Thursday, August 29th, so the system is merely in its infancy, but similar systems have been around Europe for a while in cities such as Paris and London, and  New York City was recently graced with its own iconic bike share earlier this year. Stateside, bike-share programs so far has proven to be surprisingly successful, especially in New York and D.C. Here in the Bay Area, bike share seems to have great potential to compliment our existing excellent regional public transport system, which is perhaps why Bay Area Bike Share is initially launching in Downtown San Francisco and along the Caltrain corridor in Redwood City, Palo Alto, Mountain View and San Jose.
Here’s how the system works:

  1. Get a Bay Area Bike Share Membership (or pay for a single day use, but longer membership quickly pay off).
  2. Use Annual Member key or enter your Ride Code (provided to 24-Hour and 3-Day Members) to unlock a bicycle from any station.
  3. RIDE – Run errands, ride to and/or from your BART station, commute to work,  or just go for a spin and use it as a gym membership of sorts!
  4. Return the bike to the nearest station.
  5. Repeat steps 2 through 4. Remember, any trip under 30 minutes is free– and yes you can simply dock a bike and check out a new one for another 30 minutes of charge-free cycling.

Bike-share bikes are NOT intended for long trips and the pricing system reflects this. For example, using a Bay Area Bike Share bike for an hour and a half before returning it to a station, will cost you $12 in addition to your membership fee. Any trip under 30 minutes, however, is completely free after membership fee is paid.
So what are bike share bikes good for? Going to meetings or grabbing a bite to eat on your lunch break; cycling from a BART station to your office (at the moment, most downtown San Francisco BART stations have bike share stations nearby); replacing bus trips under three miles with a bike ride; avoiding having to bring your own bike on BART; the infamous last-mile… The possibilities are many, and as long as your journey takes less than 30 minutes (keep in mind, at a “no sweat” pace, one can easily cover at least three miles on a bicycle), using a Bay Area Bike Share bicycle is free. Because of this structuring, getting an annual membership is particularly enticing as it can save you money, especially if you use it to replace short bus trips and cab rides when getting around congested parts of San Francisco.
So what do you think– are you ready to take a Bay Area Bike Share bicycle for a spin?
For additional information, check out Bay Area Bike Share’s Frequently Asked Questions or Contact page. And if you are on social media, feel free to check out Bay Area Bike Share on TwitterFacebook, Tumblr or Instagram.
*While Bay Area Bike Share is not the first bike share system to launch in California, it is by far the largest and is also distinguished in that it is regional and not confined to a single city, integrating the system well with our existing public transportation network and commuter routes.

BART to Marin?

Northbound BART train in Marin County leaving Sausalito (February, 1961)
1961, a northbound BART train leaves Sausalito… in rendering form. Image credit: Eric Fischer
A lot of people wish the Bay Area’s widely popular rapid transit system would extend northwest into Marin; it’s a topic that has been discussed among Bay Area commuters and politicians since the 1940’s.
So why hasn’t it happened?  SF.Curbed recently covered the history of  proposals and potential routes to extend BART into Marin, it’s well  worth a read. Trapped in the past among many pieces of fascinating history was the idea to run BART along a lower deck addition to the Golden Gate Bridge.
Golden Gate Bridge: rapid transit below present deck (1961)
Rendering of BART underneath the Golden Gate Bridge. Image credit: Eric Fischer
Will BART ever extend into Marin County? Who knows, but BART is currently in the process of extending into Livermore, 37 years after proposals to do so were originally put forward in 1976. One of the concerns with moving BART into Marin was that it would induce sprawl, but the area has greater environmental protections now than it did in the 1960’s. In the meantime, check out SF.Curbed’s coverage for old renderings of what could have been and continue dreaming of being able to go just about anywhere in the Bay Area by rapid transit.

San Francisco Bike Share Is On The Way! (2013)

Melbourne Bike Share - first day
A bike-share dock in Melbourne, Australia. Photo credit: Gavin Anderson
This past month you may have heard about New York City’s historic bike-share launch. New York’s bike-share program continues to incite enthusiasm and excitement, not just for the locals using the system, but for other cities interested in similar bike-share schemes. Here in California one can’t help but to wonder– when will the bike-friendly Bay Area get to enjoy bike-sharing? After all, the Southern Californian city of Anaheim already has bike-sharing (though currently on a very small scale).  Well, worry not, bike-sharing could be coming to San Francisco and the Bay Area as early as this summer! The Huffington Post reports:

San Francisco is already one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country, but it’s about to get even more pedal power when the city’s bike sharing program rolls out this August.
Run by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, in conjunction with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and other local government groups, the $7 million bike sharing program will be a one- to two-year pilot effort to determine how effective bike sharing is as a method of reducing private automobile traffic and the pollution that comes with it.

The SF bike sharing pilot will be studied for its effectiveness in shifting people out of their cars.  It is easy to imagine bike-share being helpful as a means to compliment BART trips and generally help foster multi-modal travel  and the replacement for single-occupant vehicle commute trips.  The system will start with 700 bikes and 70 bike-share stations but if successful, the pilo could expand to as many as 10,000 bikes throughout the Bay Area (which would make it tied for the largest bike-share system in America).
To get an idea of how bike-share generally operates in North America, check out this video produced for D.C.’s Capital Bike-Share program

Video credit: NACTOfilms

For more details about the Bay Area’s approaching bike-share program, head over to SF.Streetsblog.

It's About Better Cities

From one beautiful bridge to another...
Photo credit: vision63
In just about every major American metropolitan region, and especially here in the Bay Area, streets are congested – and contested – spaces.  Increasingly cities are reallocating mixed-traffic lanes to accommodate bicycling, and while this makes it safer for the cyclists, it can affect the traffic flow by reducing the number of lanes available for motorists, transit, and goods movement. Encouraging more cycling through the creation of dedicated bicycle infrastructure may be a wise investment in the long-term, but the short-term pains it causes some commuters has given rise to the use of phrases such as “anti-car” and “war on drivers.”
More anti- #bikela signs at Colorado bike lane town hall. #fig4all
Do people on bikes cause or relieve congestion? Oftentimes changing streets to accommodate bicycling is as being a “bikes vs cars” issue. Photo credit: ubrayj02
In contemplating the growing tension over bike lane implementation in North American cities, city planner Bret Toderian contends that we should not lose sight of the greater societal aspiration behind changing our existing transportation system– to improve our cities. In an article on the Huffington Post, Toderian describes this approach to recent bike lane debates:

We need a more sophisticated discussion about how we get around in cities, and it starts with this — it’s not about loving your bike. It’s about loving what biking does for cities. If more cars make cities worse, the opposite is true for bikes. Expanding urban biking is about making better, fiscally smarter, healthier, more flexible and resilient cities. Bikes are hardly a silver bullet, but they can be a big part of better city-making.

Toderian proceeds to provide compelling arguments to support this position. He notes that encouraging cycling makes sense in cities because bicycles are more space efficient:

Most pragmatically, city-builders understand that bikes make cities work better because they take a lot less space. Even if cars were clean in emissions, the biggest challenge with car-dependency is a space problem. There isn’t enough room on the roads and parking lots of cities, to have everyone drive. They just don’t fit, and our failed efforts to make them fit, cost a staggering amount.

Perhaps surprisingly, Toderian also argues that having more people cycle in a city actually makes driving easier, not more difficult:

Even if they [cities] prioritize driving, global city-builders recognize the best thing those who feel they need to drive could hope for, is for OTHER people to be able to walk, bike and ride transit. Multi-modal cities make it easier for EVERYONE to get around – including, counter-intuitively, drivers.

When viewed through this lens it does become apparent that existing traffic congestion cannot be solved by only accommodating one mode of transportation and that bicycles are just one tool in the tool box of ways to make cities more pleasant and inhabitable– it isn’t about bikes versus cars. Check out Toderian’s full Huffington Post article.

A Map of California Rail (2013)

california rail map
Bay Area rail lines– more extensive than you thought, huh? Screen grab via: California Rail Map
It’s not hard to access a map of California’s highway system– from google maps to regional maps, highways are visible and this comes as no surprise. What is surprising however, is that it is only now has someone compiled a map of California’s extensive (and growing) rail system.
The team at California Rail Map has put together a map of California featuring:  Amtrak, BART, Muni, VTA, Caltrain, Altamont Commuter Express, Sacramento Regional Transit, NCTD, San Diego Trolley, LA Metro, and Metrolink (in addition to key bus and ferry connections between rail services).
The end result – a rather impressive map – highlights many possible ways to explore California’s gold, car-free!
For more information, head over to California Rail Map’s website.  And rail enthusiasts who just can’t get enough, make sure to check California Rail Map out on facebook for more impressive maps, infographics, and conversation about high-speed rail.
Oh yeah, and don’t forget to download your own California Rail Map.
 

Year in Review: 2012

san-francisco-fireworks-2012-nye

Image credit: David Yu

511CC’s 2012 Year in Review

From the Caldecott Tunnel breakthrough to Bay Area transit agencies celebrating milestones for service, 2012 was a great year for biking, transit and transportation. Here are some of this year’s top stories.

Top Tweets

Some of our most popular tweets (number of link clicks) in 2012 linked to these articles:

BART pedestrian origin outliers
Image credit: Eric Fischer

2012 highlights

Here are some transportation highlights from the year.
JAN
511 Freeway Aid

FEB
WHEELS
 

  • LAVTA retrofits 30 Wheels buses to make boarding with strollers easier

 
MAR
Union Pacific from near Pinole, CA facing west

Image credit: Steve C.

APR

 

MAY
golden-gate-bridge

JUN
mission-bicycle-20090513-110748
 

JUL
sf-muni-bus
 

Image credit: torbakhopper

AUG
 

 

Image credit: Karl Nielsen/Metropolitan Transportation Commission

SEPT

 

Image credit:  Bay Area Rapid Transit archives

OCT
bart-subway-stn

NOV
Amtrak's Capitol Corridor
 

DEC
Opening of Municipal Railway, San Francisco
 

Image credit: SFMTA / John Henry Mentz

For more interesting articles and tips on biking, transit, and transportation in the Bay Area don’t miss our Twitter feed and our blog.

New Bay Area Commuter Benefit Policy

Berkeley Bike Lane

With S.B. 1339 passed, are you more likely to pedal as part of your commute?
Photo credit:  Carrie Cizauskas

In September 2012, Governor Brown passed into law S.B. 1339 – legislation that allows the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) to implement a region-wide Bay Area commuter policy benefiting employees who work at least 20 hours per week for an employer with 50 or more full-time employees in the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. The purpose of the legislation is to encourage commuting by means other than single passenger automobile travel.
While some Bay Area cities already have commuter benefit policies to encourage the use of public transit or bicycling, the passage of S.B. 1339 will require select employers to offer one of the following commute benefits:

  • The option to pay for transit, vanpooling or bicycling expenses with pre-tax dollars, as allowed by IRS Code 132(f) – the Transportation Fringe Benefit
  • A transit or vanpool subsidy of at least $75 per month in 2013 and adjusted annually for inflation thereafter
  • Access to a free shuttle or vanpool operated by or for the employer
  • A customized alternative program by the employer that provides similar benefits in reducing single-occupant vehicles and is approved by MTC or BAAQMD

Read the S.B 1339 FAQs.
Keep your company connected to the latest S.B. 1339 information by signing up for our newsletter.