Bay Area bike-lovers, rejoice — a $7.9 million bike-sharing pilot project will roll out next year in San Francisco, San Jose, Palo Alto, Mountain View and Redwood City! If all goes well, one thousand bikes will be available for participants who pay a membership fee in the program.

bike sharing, sf, san francisco, bicycle, bicycle sharing, sustainable design, green design, green transportationPhoto by Colin and Sarah Northway

The program will allow registered members to unlock bikes electronically with a “smart card” or credit card for a set amount of time, with fees determined by how long the bikes are taken out (much like Zipcar). Trips for half an hour or less would be free. And in order to deter would-be thieves, each bike will be outfitted with GPS units and RFID identification tags.

The first bikes will roll out within 12 to 18 months, with the full program ready to go in two years. Stay tuned.

Via SFGate

Lead Image: Velib Bikes in Paris