Bike sharing is a self-serve transportation program designed for brief journeys. The process is simple: rent a bike at any designated bike station, ride it, and return it to another station within the service area. While bike share programs did not originate in the US, over the past decade has this mode of transportation has been gaining popularity from coast to coast.

Sacramento is one of the most recent cities to implement a bike sharing program, Tower Bridge Bike Share.

How does the bike share program work?

Participating in the program is simple. First, download the app on your iPhone or Android device and sign up for a membership through Social Bicycle (SoBi), the services which manages and maintains the bikes. Then open the designated service area map, which covers from West Sacramento, past Raley Field, all the way to Downtown Sacramento and the Midtown Grid. Finally, reserve your bike and go for a ride. After your journey, return the bike to any hub in the service station area.

How Bike Share Works

In total, there are 50 bicycles across 14 hubs around town. All are smart bicycles equipped with GPS and a digital check out and return system built in. They have a basket with a service area map on them for convenience, as well as a bike lock, adjustable seat, and both front and back lights for those evening rides to local hot spots.

The cost of going for a ride.

Bike Share Bike Rack in West SacThe cost is minimal, only $4 per hour. In addition, it’s prorated by the minute, so you don’t have to worry about being overcharged. A short 15-minute ride is only $1. There are several options for returning the bike to either a public rack for $2 or a bike share hub for free. There’s even an additional option if you find you have wandered outside of the service area: for an additional $20 you can park it at any bike rack outside of the service area.

Creating a membership and entering payment information keeps users accountable for returning the bikes, and so far, the program has been met with great support from excited residents and visitors alike.

The benefits of a bike share program.

The program promotes healthy living, a green mode of transportation for the region, and awareness of public transportation.

With residents and supporters having long advocated for such a program to be implemented in Sacramento, the launch of Tower Bridge Bike Share brings a strong sense of satisfaction to community advocates. The cities of Sacramento, West Sacramento, and the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) all worked together to launch the system, and we owe them our thanks.

Going for a test ride.

Bike Share in West SacramentoI recently took a bike out for a ride so that I could provide an honest review of the rental process and experience. Aside from the lock being a little tough for me to get off (more due to my complete lack of upper body strength), and the bike being heavier than my mountain bike at home, it lived up to the hype.

The initial download of the app on my phone was simple, and the map in the app let me know which bikes were closest to me and available for a reservation and ride. The process was seamless, and it was a fun experience.

For tourists looking to get an up-close look at Sacramento’s rich culture and history, as well as locals who live and work in Downtown Sacramento, Tower Bridge Bike Share is a terrific solution.

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