Bicycle-sharing rolls into San Diego - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Bicycle-sharing rolls into San Diego

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) – A bicycle-sharing program is launching in downtown San Diego with stations being installed in the Gaslamp District this week.

“I think it's great. I was in another city in America and they had it and used it and it was terrific,” said supporter, Rhonda Haiston.

DecoBike, LLC installed its first bicycle sharing station on Monday on E Street at Sixth Avenue. The station will have a fleet of 15 bicycles and about 55 will be fully launched and deployed in downtown by the end of November, said David Silverman, DecoBike Director. 

Hundreds of bicycle sharing programs are spread across the world and this will be the first in San Diego. The city is partnering with the company, the city plans to make up to $2.4 in revenue over the 10-year contract. The program works where you use a credit card to rent a bicycle, use it for errands or site-seeing and drop it off at your nearest location so another person can use the bike.

“It's healthy, it's green clean and it's a great way to get around without having to use a car or vehicle," said Silverman.”

The company plans to launch 180 locations across the city including downtown, beach areas and San Ysidro by hotels and public transportation spots by mid to the end of December.

“We gear towards visitors that don't have a car or who are visiting and would like to see the city,” said Silverman. “We plotted it at points of service and attractions and shopping centers, grocery store and a movie theater."

Residents who live downtown and don't have a car are looking forward to the bike-sharing program.

“We always have one bike that is out of commission for one reason or another and we like to bike a lot,” said Brandon Mahrt.

Critics argue the daily rates are pricier than other cities with bicycle-sharing systems.

“We are completely privately funded because of that the prices are a little more expensive in other cities,” said Silverman.

He says in other cities bike sharing relies on government subsidies paid with taxpayer money and weather slows down service in cities with colder weather during winter months. 

DecoBike hourly rates range from $5 for 30 minutes, $7 for an hour and $12 for two hours. Short-term memberships range from $15 for a day, $35 for a week and $50 for a month.

"$15 a day, I didn't look at the sign but that looks pricey,” said Greg Tathum.

His roommate says that's affordable compared to the cost of renting other bikes.

“At the beach they ask $70 for a beach cruiser," said Mahrt.

Potential users say they will fork out some green to be greener.

“They are not using gasoline powered engines to get around town and you are getting great exercise and maneuverability,” said Haiston.

The stations are solar powered and require a credit card. If lost or stolen or damaged, the card holder will be charged.

Critics have also argued the locations are not in diverse neighborhoods where they are needed. Silverman says he hopes to expand the program.

By the end of November, DecoBike is expected to be fully launched at the 55 locations in downtown and across the city by the mid to the end of December.

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