Thursday marks the start of the Bay Area Bike Share program, in which about 700 bicycles will be available for rent 24 hours a day at kiosks in San Francisco, Redwood City, San Jose, Mountain View and Palo Alto.
The bikes will be stationed near transit hubs and popular destinations, and they will be available mostly for short trips of 30 minutes or less, according to the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority.
The $11.2 million program will offer rows of Canadian-made, seven-speed bikes at a cost of $9 for a daily pass, $22 for three days of rides and $88 for a full year, according to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.
In Santa Clara County, some 280 bikes will be parked at 28 kiosks, including at the San Jose Diridon, San Antonio, Mountain View and Palo Alto Caltrain stations, transportation authority spokeswoman Brandi Childress said.
Bikes also will be available in parts of San Jose's downtown area, including at City Hall, San Jose State University, San Pedro Square, Japantown, the Adobe building and the Convention Center, Childress said.
Other kiosks in the county will be located at the San Antonio Shopping Center in Mountain View, Stanford University and downtown Palo Alto.
In San Francisco, the majority of the stations will be located in the downtown core, with nine on Market Street alone.
In San Mateo County, bikes will be available at Redwood City's library, Caltrain station and more.
One aim of the program is to allow commuters to take public transit to work and use the bikes for the short trips from transit stops to the workplace.
In the spring, 300 additional bikes and 30 new kiosks will be added in the five cities.
Portland, Ore.-based Alta Bike Share was awarded the contract to oversee the program, brought to the region through a partnership between the VTA, the air district, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Caltrain and SamTrans.
Alta Bike Share has similar programs operating in New York; Chicago; Boston; and Washington, D.C. More information about the program is available at www.bayareabikeshare.com.