Bike Share Pilot Program Comes to Santa Barbara’s Coastal Zone

21 Comments
Reads 3178

Source: City of Santa Barbara

In conjunction with our Program Operator, BCycle, the City of Santa Barbara launched the first phase of the three-year Bike Share Pilot Program on January 28, 2021. On June 11, 2021, the California Coastal Commission voted unanimously to allow the three-year Pilot Program in the City’s Coastal Zone.

The Bike Share Pilot Program provides an affordable point-to-point e-bike ride with easy access to key destinations. Designed with short trips in mind, bike share is great for those trips that are too far to walk, but too close to drive. The Pilot Program will include the installation of 500 docks that will serve a fleet of around 250 pedal-assist e-bikes citywide. To date, the Pilot Program has 96 bikes and 192 docks in service outside of the Coastal Zone. Since program launch, Santa Barbara BCycle riders have taken 13,914 total trips and ridden 63,529 miles (as of May 31, 2021).  With the addition of docking locations in the Coastal Zone, these ridership statistics are expected to increase due to the key destinations in the Coastal Zone and the amount of residents that live and work there.

City Staff will continue to work with BCycle, and internal and external stakeholders, to identify and install dock locations in the Coastal Zone. Installation of certain dock locations in the Coastal Zone began on June 18, with more installations scheduled in the coming weeks. 

We continue to monitor ridership metrics to better understand how to shape the Program as an effective point-to-point transportation option.  Because it is a Pilot Program, we need to fully build the network in order to evaluate its long term viability.  At the end of the three-year Bike Share Pilot Program, we will return to the City’s Transportation Circulation Committee and City Council to determine if the Program is a good fit for the City.  A Coastal Development Permit will be required if the program becomes permanent.

For more information, visit https://santabarbara.bcycle.com for the latest on BCycle in Santa Barbara.

Login to add Comments

21 Comments

Show Comments
LocalinSB Jun 21, 2021 11:47 AM
Bike Share Pilot Program Comes to Santa Barbara’s Coastal Zone

One word: Dangerous. These ebikes, really any bike, needs to be prohibited on the streets shut down for vehicles on State St. Bicyclist are going to fast and I've seen many near misses. Pedestrians on the same path as unruly, speeding bicyclists are not safe.

bicyclist Jun 21, 2021 06:28 PM
Bike Share Pilot Program Comes to Santa Barbara’s Coastal Zone

Trek Bicycle has bought SB: "BCycle is a public bicycle sharing company owned by Trek Bicycle and is based in Waterloo, Wisconsin, United States" FYI, as someone with a very unique insight in the "Industry", this is one company you do NOT want handling your bicycle/ebike dealings. They (Trek) have single handedly KILLED 3 bicycle brands [Gary Fisher;Klein;Lemond](bought them out then just decided wasn't in their interest anymore). Also took the "Bontrager" brand name to the lowest possible status, so realistically 4 company brand names. The BS here about "Winning" the lowest bid? Trek is a huge Company, do you think a local business could do a “Competitive bid”? (NO) The best part of this fable is when inquired as to how they will be recharged, no biggie the city will just quickly pass an “Emergency exception for charging stations” needed, that were Not part of the original bid? Just say’n look out when they decide not enough $ coming in… Fernaldpoint93108 agree %100!!!

Snorky Jun 22, 2021 08:51 AM
Bike Share Pilot Program Comes to Santa Barbara’s Coastal Zone

Not so sure, for a 30 minute ride on one of these single seaters, it's $7.00 (no monthly/annual pass). You can get a surry (sp?) that can at least fit the family for almost same price at local rental companies. The niche is different. It may affect other single seat options...also, are you all "up in arms" about hotels providing their bikes to guests? Wouldn't that also affect these local bike rental businesses?

bosco Jun 21, 2021 01:17 PM
Bike Share Pilot Program Comes to Santa Barbara’s Coastal Zone

I have a taken a couple trips on these bikes. For an ebike, they are relatively slow. The e assist is significantly slower than your standard ebike. I don't think they pose any greater danger than a regular bike. That said, expect many more injuries since we don't have adequate bike lanes in many of our downtown streets.

SBTownie Jun 21, 2021 06:51 PM
Bike Share Pilot Program Comes to Santa Barbara’s Coastal Zone

I agree. I was a little bit skeptical about these when I first heard they were e-bikes, but the assist is mild in speed and I'm an avid (regular) cyclist and I haven't had any issues with anyone riding these. Friends have enjoyed renting them and gave good reviews. I'm pro now.

Bird Jun 22, 2021 07:19 AM
Bike Share Pilot Program Comes to Santa Barbara’s Coastal Zone

I agree, those on the beachway that are so fast are not the white BCycle bikes —- but having so many ebikes on that narrow path, with no helmets provided, are accidents waiting to happen. If the city is going to promote this activity, putting walkers and dog walkers at risk, the city has an obligation to patrol for safety and to remind that the sidewalks are for walkers and not bikers.

SBTownie Jun 21, 2021 06:54 PM
Bike Share Pilot Program Comes to Santa Barbara’s Coastal Zone

Good question. That said, I was initially against these bikes as I thought they'd be super speedy (versus a pretty low-speed assist) and I also thought it wasn't very nice to the local rental companies. That said, the rental models are really very different. I have a regular bike and have been able to have friends and family join me for rides downtown and back renting these bikes. Many times we've returned late in the evening, when it wouldn't be an option to return a rental bike. These offer much more flexibility both in terms of location and timing and I would suggest seeing these as a totally separate thing from traditional rentals. That is certainly how our friends and family are using them - as bike rentals in situations where we'd never otherwise go out of our way to rent a bike as it made no sense convenience or timing-wise.

Marv Jun 21, 2021 07:17 PM
Bike Share Pilot Program Comes to Santa Barbara’s Coastal Zone

I agree with LOCALINSB that ebikes will prove dangerous. I walk along Cabrillo a few times a week. Ebikes are ridden at rates of speed far in excess of conventional bikes. Bike riders are permitted to ride both on the bike path as well as the sidewalk along the length of Cabrillo. A split second loss of attention by the biker, a momentary move left or right by a pedestrian, and serious injury can easily occur. By the end of this summer, there will be serious accidents between ebike riders and pedestrians.

Bird Jun 22, 2021 07:11 AM
Bike Share Pilot Program Comes to Santa Barbara’s Coastal Zone

I completely agree about Cabrillo and the bike riders in the sidewalks. And the speed of some of the ebikes makes them very dangerous on the Beachway. Clearly, the city doesn’t give a damn …until someone is injured and there,s a serious lawsuit. Until then, it’s oh, biking is such fun!

Shasta Guy Jun 21, 2021 07:34 PM
Bike Share Pilot Program Comes to Santa Barbara’s Coastal Zone

I was walking down Santa Barbara St with my son on Saturday and a dad with two kids were riding electric bikes on the sidewalk, fast, with no regards for pedestrians. We had to get out of their way or we would’ve been knocked over. People are taking these things on joy rides where they shouldn’t, especially the tourists.

PitMix Jun 22, 2021 06:48 AM
Bike Share Pilot Program Comes to Santa Barbara’s Coastal Zone

If they hit you, and you are injured, it could cost them a lot of money. I understand why parents think the sidewalk is a better alternative than the street for their kids but it really is not a good solution to the lack of safe spaces to play problem.

SBWalkers Jun 22, 2021 09:24 AM
Bike Share Pilot Program Comes to Santa Barbara’s Coastal Zone

Electric bicycles.. sounds like FUN.. but... it is Electric "Pedal Assist" - meaning you have to pedal... not a biggie, but it is not electric in the way people usually think. Also, it is $7.00 for half an hour increments (30min).... go 31 min - pow, another $7 bucks, it does not adjust... just sayin.

RHS Jun 22, 2021 09:44 AM
Bike Share Pilot Program Comes to Santa Barbara’s Coastal Zone

So as these discussions of the experience are offered we see that the city's original justification for this gift of public space to private profit is not going to happen. These are not vehicles to encourage ecological commuting especially. They are tourists attractions and as such are fine but shouldn't the private business pay back what it is getting somewhat? And, as noted, what about the existing private rental companies that are being strangled out as they have no where near the presence that these locations offer?

NotReallyDave Jun 22, 2021 09:17 PM
Bike Share Pilot Program Comes to Santa Barbara’s Coastal Zone

So what is the agreement that the City of Santa Barbara has with this business? Does the City get a percentage of income? Does anyone really know? The City has handed over our public spaces on streets and sidewalks to this for-profit company in order to entertain even more tourists. Think of all of the air quality that is damaged by tourists just traveling to this town and then leaving to go home. Did you know there is now another City manager position that has been created to oversee this new venture? Building up government size one manager position at a time.

citizenSB Jun 22, 2021 09:46 AM
Bike Share Pilot Program Comes to Santa Barbara’s Coastal Zone

Interesting that the cost in SB is much higher than Bcycle advertises;
Rides up to 30 minutes $5
Day Pass $25
Annual pass $45
1st half-hour (of each trip) Included
2nd half-hour $1
3rd half-hour $2
4th half-hour and subsequent $4

Santa Barbara fees --
$7 per 30 minutes.
Annual Pass $150.00
Unlimited 30-minute trips. $3 per 30 minutes after first 30.

Where does the extra money go?

Jence Jun 22, 2021 11:02 PM
Bike Share Pilot Program Comes to Santa Barbara’s Coastal Zone

So when do we get the check for these eyesores?
How much of their profit is going toward our road and maintenance fees?
How do they tell the users that they are not allowed to ride on sideWALKS?
(Hell, how do we get our own to stop riding on sideWALKS?)
Oh, I know,,,, TICKET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Please Login or Register to comment on this.