As New York City prepares for its citywide bike-share program, San Francisco is getting its own taste of bike-sharing. This week, the Recreation and Parks Department, in collaboration with three local bike rental companies, unveiled its newest project: Parkwide, a park to park rental service where you can rent a bike in one place and drop it off in another.
Bike rental is nothing new in San Francisco. Places like Blazing Saddles, Bike and Roll, and Bay City Bike have been outfitting tourists with hybrids and tandems for years. But Parkwide’s flexible drop-off design sets it apart from the ordinary bike rental and puts it more in the realm of bikeshare.
While Parkwide is mostly geared to the growing number of tourists choosing to see San Francisco from the saddle, the hourly rate options and multiple drop off locations could appeal to locals wanting to hop on a bike to ride through Crissy Field, take a leisurely ride to Ocean Beach or just run an errand near one of the bike-share locations.
But this program is just a start.
A larger bike-share pilot program is set to launch this spring. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District, in partnership with The San Francisco Metro Transit Association, is piloting a bike-share program that will bring 50 share stations and 500 bikes to locations around the city and down the Peninsula on the Caltrain corridor.
Until that program launches, you can rent bikes at any of the Parkwide locations. There are currently three—Justin “Pee Wee” Herman Plaza on Market, The Bandshell between the De Young and the Academy of Sciences, and near the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park. Two more Parkwide locations, one in the Marina and another in Union Square, are opening up in the next month.