SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — The City of Santa Cruz, UC Santa Cruz, County of Santa Cruz, City of Capitola, Cabrillo College and City of Watsonville have partnered to bring a new bike share system to Santa Cruz County providing a convenient, sustainable, and affordable way for community members and visitors to travel countywide.
The bike share system, fully owned and operated by BCycle, is expected to launch in June throughout the City of Santa Cruz and the UCSC campus. The regional system is scheduled to expand to Capitola, Watsonville, Cabrillo College, and the unincorporated County in early 2024. BCycle and its parent company, Trek, are financing all capital costs.
“The City and our regional partners are excited to bring an improved bike share system to Santa Cruz at no-cost to our jurisdictions with expanded service area and important docking system,” said City of Santa Cruz Transportation Planner Claire Gallogly.
The e-bikes must be picked up and dropped off at dedicated BCycle docks. This docked system reduces the possibility of bikes being left in areas such as pedestrian walkways or roadways. The initial launch will include approximately 400 e-bikes and 800 docks throughout the City of Santa Cruz and UCSC. The countywide rollout will extend the system with up to 660 e-bikes and 1320 docks.
According to Dan Henderson, Executive Director of UCSC Transportation and Parking Services, “UCSC is happy to be partnering with our neighbors on this exciting initiative. Bike share can be greatly beneficial to not only our university affiliates, but to all persons in the region when they choose their commute mode. We hope that our students, employees, and guests consider this low-cost and convenient alternative to single occupancy vehicles when traveling to and from our campus, and around the region itself.”
This implementation of a regional bike share system reflects the policy goals of the participating jurisdictions to reduce single occupant vehicle trips, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve multimodal mobility, and increase the number of trips made by non-auto modes. A single vendor was chosen to ensure that bike sharing is available and accessible for all community members, including students and those with limited income.
Monthly, annual, and walk-up pricing will be available. Each jurisdiction will work with BCycle on bike safety and education to best ensure that users have the tools to ride safely.
The e-bikes will be accessed and unlocked through a BCycle app. Proximity cards will be available for those who do not use a smartphone. The app and BCycle web page will show where the bikes are located as well as their battery charge level.
More information is available at cityofsantacruz.com/bikeshare where questions and comments may be submitted. UCSC affiliates may subscribe to the monthly newsletter Slugs on the Move at taps.ucsc.edu for updates about UCSC affiliate pricing and Slug Bike Life email sign-up; they may contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.