You may not know it, but there currently already exists two bikeshare programs in the East Bay. Can you guess where they are?
Unless you work or study there, you might be hard pressed to know of these two small scale programs. And yet, one of them has been able to offer a key innovative feature that Bay Area Bike Share, and many other bike share programs across the nation, have always struggled with: Transit Card Integration.
Located in San Ramon, Bishop Ranch’s BRite Bikes are unique in a number of different ways. First of all, through their innovative use of technology, a new style of bikeshare bike and no permanent docks, they are the harbingers of bikeshare’s long awaited “4th Generation.” For more information on bikeshare generations and their definitions, read Susan Shaheen and Stacey Guzman’s research on ”Worldwide Bikesharing.”
BRite Bikes are powered by Social Bicycles which offers dockless bikes that allow for lower redistribution costs, more flexible and adapted usage patterns and less infrastucture investment. The bikes are intelligent; they can be locked up anywhere and located via a phone app.
But, more importantly, the creators of BRite Bike were able to quietly figure out a simple solution to incorporate the Bay Area’s transit smart card, the Clipper Card, into the program for users. Therefore, rather than having a seperate FOB or card like most bikeshare programs, BRite Bike users have access to a single smartcard that unlocks different mode of transit options.
This integration is made possible by side-stepping any revenue-sharing conversations with the myriad of large transit agencies served by Clipper (Clipper Card counts 14 participating agencies spanning ferries, trains, buses, light rail, and even parking lots). Instead of processing any payments through the cards and members’ use of it, the RFID card is solely used to identify the user. Once the BRite Bike member has ‘tagged’ their card on the bike’s reader and typed in a passcode, the bike unlocks itself and is ready to ride.
The bikeshare program at Bishop Ranch, a large business park, is primarily geared to employees and employers of the area as a way to encourage alternative commutes as well as to offer the community “a healthy, fun and affordable way to get around Bishop Ranch and the surrounding area”. It is comprised of 100 bikes and was launched in late 2014. Visit britebikes.socialbicycles.com for more information.
Wondering about the East Bay’s second bike program? CSU East Bay’s Hayward campus recently added some Zagster bikes to their transportation Options. Read about it in the Pioneer.
About Bishop Ranch
Established in 1978 by Sunset Development Company, Bishop Ranch is a 585-acre, mixed-use business community comprising 9 million square feet of office space. More than 550 of the world’s leading companies, innovative startups, and medical and dental practitioners make their home in the thriving professional business community of Bishop Ranch. The recipient of many awards, including the Urban Land Institute Award for Excellence, Bishop Ranch is home to many Global 2000 companies, including Chevron, General Electric, Toyota and Bank of the West.
Visit BishopRanch.com for more information.