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MTC Weighs Bikeshare Opportunities and Challenges in Post-Pandemic Landscape

Commission members who serve on MTC’s Operation Committee this month received a performance update on Bay Wheels and other MTC-supported bike-sharing initiatives around the Bay Area.

If Bay Wheels were a transit agency, it would have the eighth largest ridership in the Bay Area, just behind Marin Transit and just ahead of Golden Gate Transit, based on trips taken from January through June of this year. Bay Wheels has not received any public subsidy.

But Bay Wheels — which operates in San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley and Emeryville — as well as a newly relaunched bikeshare program in Richmond and systems in Marin and Sonoma counties that still have yet to launch, face a number of challenges to their business model as the Bay Area rolls slowly into a post-COVID world.

These include balancing the robust demand for shared e-bikes with the higher costs to buy and maintain these models as well as the costs added by theft and vandalism to bikes and docking facilities alike.

January to June 2022 Ridership

Rank

Ridership

Agency

Rank 2019

1

53,361,521

SFMTA

1

2

20,403,858

BART

2

3

15,153,241

AC Transit

3

4

9,771,938

VTA

4

5

3,729,028

SamTrans

6

6

1,715,150

Caltrain

5

7

1,246,245

Marin Transit

9

8

1,225,025

Bay Wheels

11

9

992,665

GGBHTD

7

10

964,650

County Connection

8

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