Monday, November 1, 2010

A mikespokes exclusive (I think)... bikeshare in Sacramento?

We're not known here at mikespokes for breaking news.  The biggest stories we've broken so far are: The Bike Trail is Nice; The Bike Trail Can Be Dodgy; People Can Be Rude; Old Bikes Are Cool; and Look At My New Bike.

But today is the beginning of a new era.  We have actual news.

It appears Sacramento is getting a bicycle sharing program, or at least a miniature version of something that looks a lot like one.

This afternoon, I saw a long pallet wrapped in plastic outside the CalEPA headquarters.  When I left the hearing I was attending, a man and woman had unwrapped a portion of it to reveal six locking stations of the kind seen in urban bike share programs.  I'd seen them in Brussels, Paris and Luxembourg City and read about them in Denver and other U.S. Cities but hardly expected them in our folksy capitol city.

And yet, there they were. 

Lucky for me -- and you, devoted readers -- the two workers were friendly in the way that only Canadians can be friendly.  Alex and Jenny, both visiting from Toronto, represent Electron Inc.  (or maybe Electron Technologies, or Electron Systems... I'm new to this reporting thing so don't expect precision on Day One.)

The company is installing a six-bike share kiosk outside the CalEPA building.  Would-be riders would register inside and obtain a bracelet that can be swiped at the kiosk to unlock a bike. The bikes are by Bionx and are electric-assisted models.

No word on cost or on whether the program is open to anyone other than CalEPA employees for now.  My guess is it's a pilot project that will require a CalEPA ID, but I could be wrong.

Remember, you heard it here first.

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