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Bike Sharing – Monterey County Feasibility

“Bike share program?  Usually I bike, but sometimes I take the bus to work.  How handy it would be those days if I could just grab a bike and ride downtown. That would mean I could still do shopping and errands on my lunch hour.”

“Bikesharing? That would so great for my East Salinas neighborhood.  A friend and I like to run errands and go shopping together, but she doesn’t have a bike. There are no rentals in Salinas.  I think if I could just get her to try out biking with me, she’d soon want to buy a bike of her own and leave the car behind for short trips.”

“Bikesharing? That just might be a neat idea!  My wife hasn’t been interested in heading over to the peninsula for bike rentals.  But if there were bikeshare stations in Salinas, maybe I could get her to bike to church with me some Sunday. She might enjoy the novelty of it–and she might end up wanting a bike of her own!  Then we could start taking Sunday rides together instead of Sunday drives.  Hey, our grandkids could join us for that too!”

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10/21/17 Update: See “Bike-share programs in the Monterey Bay Tri-County Region.”

12/21/12 Update: TAMC staff and consultants definitely listened to the community’s input. Regarding the feasibility of bikesharing in Salinas, for example, see the second-to-last paragraph on page 32 of TAMC’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee packet for the January 9, 2013 meeting:

Yes, that link to the January 2013 packet is broken—as are many links to TAMC’s website, a result of their website redesign. Unfortunately, even if you search for the packet, you won’t find it. For whatever reason, that packet alone was deleted from TAMC’s website, as the image below shows.

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Your comments are solicited, through December 21, 2012.  Please address them to Andy Cook of TAMC (contact info below).

11/28/12 update:

Approximately 20 people gathered to discuss bike share feasibility for Monterey County.  Special thanks to Frank and Michelle of Adventures by the Sea, Devin of Bay Bikes, and Mat of Blazing Saddles for their presence and input.

Among the many benefits of bicycling are multiple economic benefits–to individual riders, to bike-related businesses, and to the county and society at large. From the draft study (linked below), it is reasonable to expect that bicycle shops selling bikes would likely benefit from the introduction of a bikeshare program.  However, it makes sense that bike rental businesses have concerns about how bikeshare might adversely affect their businesses.

The proposed bikesharing program would offer 120 bikes.  Rental bikes available in the county now number well over 500.  Even in neighboring Santa Cruz County, which has many bicyclists, there is not the availability of bicycle rentals provided by our Monterey County bike rental businesses.

Possible solutions to avoid an undesirable result for bike rental businesses were raised. The consultants acknowledged that Monterey County might be an appropriate place to break new ground with regard to partnerships between bike rentals and bikesharing.

Mari Lynch also urged consideration of locating bike-sharing stations in the City of Salinas, where no bike rentals are available for visitors or residents at this time.

Also attending the meeting were concerned citizen Fred Rubin, known for his work as a Pacific Grove High School wood shop instructor; Matthew Sundt, board president of Velo Club Monterey; Ariana Green, City of Monterey transportation planner;  Megan Tolbert, CSUMB transportation planner;  TAMC staff members Debbie Hale, Andy Cook, and Todd Muck; and other individuals.

One attendee, an avid cyclist, brought up his concerns stemming from the “yellow bike program” that had operated in Salinas in the past.  The consultants addressed how the new generation of bikesharing programs differs, and how it avoids problems experienced by the older programs.

Note: Following the meeting, the November 29-December 5 issue of the Monterey County Weekly hit the streets.  Since Kera Abraham’s story “Sharing the Road” was written prior to the 11/28 meeting, it was not possible for it to reflect the ideas that were raised at the meeting–possible ways to help ensure positive outcome for the bike rental businesses and bikesharing in Monterey County.

♥ Bike-love tip:  Did you know?

You can encourage visitors–or locals on staycation–to support Monterey County’s bike rental businesses.  How? Tell them about HER Helmet Thursdays lodging discounts.  Anyone who brings their own bike–or rents a bike for a day or longer from any Monterey County bike rental location–can get a discount on their Thursday night hotel or other lodging.  In addition, there are other discounts for bicyclists. Click here for “How and where to get a lodging discount.”

3/20/13 update:

Click here for the latest on bicycle sharing feasibility for Monterey County.

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Notice of  Availability: 

Draft Monterey County

Bike Share Feasibility Study

11/28 meeting, 12/21 deadline for comments on draft
What’s up?

The Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC) has completed a Draft Monterey County Bike Share Feasibility Study for public review. The purpose of this study is to examine the feasibility of a bikesharing system in Monterey County that increases the use of bicycles for relatively short-range travel, reducing the negative impacts of private automobile use and encouraging a shift to other modes of transportation like transit and walking.

This study describes the current practice of bikesharing in North American cities, identifies a potential service area for bikesharing in Monterey County, proposes an initial configuration of bikes and stations, and estimates the demand for ridership on the proposed system. The study presents a variety of operating models, identifies potential funding sources and partners, estimates costs and revenues for the proposed system, and also addresses impacts of bikesharing on the local economy.

The study makes recommendations for an initial bikesharing system in the Monterey/Pacific Grove area, next steps toward implementation, and a discussion of associated challenges and opportunities.

TAMC is now accepting comments on the Draft Monterey County Bike Share Feasibility Study. The Agency will accept comments on the document through December 21, 2012. The Agency will also hold a public workshop to provide more information on the project and to provide an opportunity to ask questions. The date, time, and location for the meeting is as follows.

11/28 Meeting

Wednesday, November 28, 2012, 6:00pm

Santa Barbara Bank & Trust Community Room
615 Abrego Street, Monterey

Biking or doing the bike-and-ride to the 11/28 meeting? See biking in the dark tips. Santa Barbara Bank & Trust Community Room is a very short distance from the Monterey-Salinas Transit’s downtown Monterey plaza (bike-and-ride option).   It is also a short bike ride from the coastal bike/multi-use trail.

Review the draft

The draft is available on the TAMC website (, or can be obtained by contacting the TAMC offices at (831) 775-0903.

11/26/12 editor’s note

The report link on that TAMC Bicycle Sharing Feasibility Study webpage wasn’t working.  However, once there, you can click on a PDF of FAQs, and you can also click on the title of that TAMC page to access the report. Or, here it is: 

By 12/21, direct comments to:

Andy Cook, Associate Transportation Planner

Transportation Agency for Monterey County

55B Plaza Circle, Salinas, CA 93901


Phone:  (831) 775-4411

Fax: (831) 775-0897

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Thank you to Andy Cook for providing this press release.

Being well aware of the many benefits of biking–including economic and environmental health–and how bikesharing can encourage more visitors and locals to bike, TAMC secured a $57,000 grant to study the feasibility of bikesharing in Monterey County. The 84-page study was prepared by Fehr & Peers of Walnut Creek and Economic & Planning Systems of Sacramento.

Bicycling Monterey encourages input from local residents as well as visitors, and TAMC’s vision is that a bikeshare would serve both.

“Bikesharing? That’d be cool–a way to get  girlfriends, sisters, and moms out biking!  Have you noticed? There are far more many guys than gals that bike in Salinas.  Bikesharing would give the ladies a chance to try out two wheels. They just might like it–we sure do!”

 “Bikesharing? We had no room to pack along our bikes. And our tour stop was so brief.  Wished there’d been some bikes handy so we could just grab em and go.  Maybe take a quick ride to a local mom-and-pop restaurant. That’d be so much nicer than fast-food drive-through chains or PB&J in the car!”

L to R:  Allison Weiss, Lauren Zettler (AKA Lightyear), and Lelia Broussard after a Monterey House Concerts show.

Hartnell campus photo above courtesy of Frank Henderson.

Hartnell College encourages Alternative Transportation, including biking, with many convenient bicycle racks near campus buildings, and at the main parking area as well.  Without any bicycle rentals in Salinas, students, faculty, staff, and visitors who don’t own a bike are limited to walking or some form of motorized transportation.  If bikesharing came to Salinas, more Hartnell-goers could try out biking–and might soon decide they were ready to buy their own two wheels.

Hmmm…what would happen! Bikesharing can be one way to help more people find out.

For a little more about bikesharing on this site

Click here.

Also see, Bicycle Advocacy:  What you can do!

For related info on this site, see…

Ciclovia/Open Streets proposed for Salinas

Tips on bicycling in Salinas

This post was published on 9 November 2012. One or more changes last made to this post on 5 March 2018.

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