San Francisco Bay bike-share launches in 5 cities

SAN JOSE — Commuters fed up with traffic-clogged streets have a new option to get around the San Francisco Bay region: pedal power.

A program launched on Thursday allows them to hop on one of more than 600 bikes parked at about 70 different stations.

"This type of program has the potential to get more cars off the road, reduce traffic congestion and promote a healthier and more vibrant community," said San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, one of dozens of local leaders celebrating the Bay Area Bike Share launch.

Bike-laden, solar-powered racks are already installed, ready to link riders between Caltrain and Bay Area Rapid Transit system stops in San Francisco, Redwood City, Palo Alto, San Jose and Mountain View and their downtown business districts. About 400 more bikes and 40 stations are planned by year's end.

"Cycling is the new golf for the business community in the Silicon Valley, and this program really underscores that culture," said Colin Heyne, deputy director of the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition. "We have beautiful weather, generally flat topography and infrastructure that makes it easier."

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