OMG, the City of Pasadena is Selling Folding Bikes for Just $215? Isn’t This Program Better Than the SFMTA’s Bike Share?

Word comes from the San Francisco Examiner’s Mike Billings of the City of Santa Monica’s new FoldnGo program.

So, Pasadenians will be able to buy a small Dahon folding bike for $214.99?

Isn’t this a lot cheaper, you know, per bike, than the SFMTA’s / BAAQMD’s expensive bike sharing scheme?

Hell yes. Plus, you, Fellow San Franciscan, end up with a bicycle of your own.

Hey, where’s my almost-free Dahon bike, SFMTA? 

You know who’s excited about Pasadena already? Dahon Girl 2009, that’s who:

Click to expand

Oh, what’s that, giving away bicycles ala Santa Monica is NOT a jobs program? Because most of the money would necessarily go into bikes instead of salaries and benefits and pensions?

And the  SFMTA is really an employment agency instead of the (very slow, slowest in America) transit agency it claims to be?

Oh, so I guess, for that reason, we won’t be getting a Pasadena-style program up here in the 415.

‘Cause I’ll tell you, SF’s new bikeshare program is of zero interest to me, as a supposed user. And I’ll tell you, most of the money for San Francisco’s bike share program will end up paying the employees instead of paying for the large, heavy, expensive, undesirable equipment for the program.

Last time I checked. the San Francisco Fire Department spends 91% of its budget on salaries / related expenses and just 9% on equipment. Will our bike share program end up with that kind of percentage  after it ends? We’ll see.

Of course, when you’re giving away or heavily subsidizing  a bike program as Pasadena  is doing, you’re going to run into corruption and fraud type of problems.

But guess what, we going to have these issues* with Alta Bicycle Share in our taxpayer-funded program as well.

So what’s the diff?**

Oh well.

*And vandalism. Don’t forget about theft and vandalism. Oh, you have the GPS to fight theft? Guess what, it’s sending out its signal from, say, underneath Pier 2. Who’s going to fish it out? We’ll see.

**One big diff will be that any issues anyone has about the bike share program will be met with a pitch for more money. More and more and more money.  

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3 Responses to “OMG, the City of Pasadena is Selling Folding Bikes for Just $215? Isn’t This Program Better Than the SFMTA’s Bike Share?”

  1. mk says:

    Not Santa Monica, Pasadena. And fraud has not been an issue with this program, which has issued more than half of the allotted vouchers in its first six months.

    If you’re interested in learning more, please contact the program manager, Whitney Pitkanen, at 626/744-5600. She can fill you in on how SF can mimic this idea.

  2. Alai says:

    It’s a very different program. Storage, theft, maintenance are all significant problems for bike owners, particularly for those who aren’t frequent riders. A cheap bike for everyone is a nice idea, but it just serves a totally different population. And the bikes may be a lot more expensive, but each bike share bike is used by a whole lot more people, a whole lot more frequently.

  3. sfcitizen says:

    Understood that it’s a different type of program.

    Primarily, bike-share is a bike-related jobs program and Pasadena’s is a bike program…