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New bike share station open for business on The Alameda

A new bike share station recently popped up on the corner of The Alameda and West Julian Street, giving San Jose residents another option to shorten their final commute connection or just take a quick ride someplace.

Several parking spots on West Julian were removed to make room for the 23 bikes assigned to the Ford GoBike station, which was unveiled almost a month ago. Other stations have also appeared near the SAP Center, San Jose Diridon station, Cahill Park and San Jose City Hall.

About 1,000 bicycles will be added over the next year to 80 bike share locations throughout San Jose, including around San Jose State University, Japantown and Willow Glen. So far there are 24 stations in San Jose, and that number is expected to double to 48 before October, according to GoBike’s website.

Several other Bay Area cities such as San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley and Emeryville have also signed on to be what a program spokesperson called “part of a unified regional bike share system that will ultimately include 7,000 bikes system-wide.”

The way it works is that riders first sign up for an annual membership and either use the Ford GoBike mobile app or a Clipper card to unlock a bike at a station, ride it, then return it to the station closest to their final destination.

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission and Bay Area Bike Share partnered to establish the program two years ago as part of an effort to reduce traffic congestion by creating convenient transportation options to entice people out of their cars. More than 250 meetings and 27 workshops were conducted, as well as a door-to-door outreach campaign, to gauge feedback and suggestions for where to locate the stations.

GoBike aims to become the “nation’s most inclusive bike share program” by using that input to help design the program.

Motivate, a partner company in the program, is offering a steep first-year introductory membership discount for low-income residents. People who qualify for CalFresh, PG&E Care or the SFMTA Lifeline Pass pay only $5 instead of $149 for their first year. That fee can be paid online or in person at select locations. Low-income residents can also use a bike for up to one hour; most rides are usually around 30 minutes for daily pass users and up to 45 minutes for annual members.

Rides start at $3 for a single-use trip and $9.95 for a day pass; $20 passes good for up to three days are also available. To sign up or learn more about Ford GoBike, visit fordgobike.com.