Over the past weekend, shared bicycles were available in San Francisco's beautiful Golden Gate Park. A state-of-the-art pay station spent five hours in the park on Sunday, allowing riders to swipe a credit card or use a prepaid pass to take one of the bikes out for a spin.
Users loved it, and city employees, including Mayor Gavin Newsom, are enthusiastic, but it was only a one-day thing. Mayor Newsom's plan to start a pilot bike-sharing program in the city by the Bay has been stalled out since he announced it in January, hampered by criticism that it was too small to succeed and by fears of vandalism and theft.
Sunday's bikes were part of the "Bixi" system--a blend of the words "bike" and "taxi"--that is currently in use in Montreal. Let's hope it, or some form of bike-sharing, catches on in more cities soon.