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San Diego Bike Sharing Program Scheduled To Begin This Month

Photo caption: A DecoBike bike sharing station at 28th and B streets in Golden Hill on Thurs...

Photo by Claire Trageser

A DecoBike bike sharing station at 28th and B streets in Golden Hill on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014.

After almost a year of delays San Diego's bike sharing program is scheduled to begin this month, according to DecoBike. About 80 stations are now set up and will soon be ready to use.

After almost a year of delays San Diego's bike sharing program is scheduled to begin this month, according to DecoBike, the private company that contracted with the city of San Diego to run the program.

About 80 bike share stations are now set up and will soon be ready to use, said Chris Biele, a spokesman for DecoBike. He said the company is ultimately planning to have about 180 stations and 1,800 bikes.

When the city of San Diego approved a 10-year partnership with DecoBike in July 2013, the company said bike sharing would begin between January and March 2014. Then the program was delayed to May, then to August, then again to October.

"We originally planned to launch the program earlier this year, but manufacturing and community outreach took a bit longer than we had an anticipated," said David Silverman, DecoBike’s San Diego marketing manager, in a statement. "We’ve worked closely with city staff to get extensive input from planning groups and neighborhoods."

Although a final bike share station map was posted on DecoBike's website this fall, some residents and business owners are still negotiating the stations' locations. Katie Keach, a spokeswoman for City Councilman Todd Gloria, said while Gloria did not choose the station locations, he's working with business owners in South Park who are upset about the station at 28th and B streets because it eliminates three parking spaces.

"They requested that we move the location, and staff agreed to evaluate the other locations," Keach said in an email. "Unfortunately the two suggested locations on the sidewalk do not work because of accessibility and other challenges. Staff is still looking into the other locations that were still within the area."

The bike sharing program lets people rent a bike from a checkout station, ride it wherever they want and then return it to any station. Costs range from $7 an hour or $15 a day for a bike to between $20 and $30 a month for an unlimited membership. Its annual membership fee of $99 to $125 is more than other bike-sharing cities, including New York and San Francisco.

The city's partnership with DecoBike means the city does not pay for bike sharing. DecoBike will pay $8 million for the bikes and stations and will give the city a portion of its profits — from $1 million to $2.6 million over 10 years.

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