Thanks to Beth Martin with the City of San José Department of Transportation for this guest piece!
Bikepooling to work
Picture your morning commute. Do you spend too much time behind your steering wheel stuck in traffic or lacking companionship while driving alone in your car? What if, instead, there was an option that let you get some fresh air, be in good company, and still get to and from work? In other words, what if commuting to your job could be more than just a means to an end?
The City of San José and Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition are piloting the first formal San José Bikepool. Bikepooling, akin to carpooling but on bikes, is a group commute solution designed to get people out of their cars and onto bikes. With designated routes and pick up locations, you can easily join a route and bike with others to and from work.
Beta Testing Bikepool
Wednesday, March 18 marked the first beta Bikepool of City Hall employees who live in South San José. On the way home, a group of City Hall employees met up with SVBC in front of City Hall after work and rode down the Guadalupe River Trail to Almaden Valley, peeling off in different locations to bike the final leg of the trip to their homes.
Alisar Aoun, a Department of Transportation employee and one of the beta-testers, stressed the value of having a defined route and route leader. She had tried to bike home from City Hall before but was originally thwarted by the confusing connections between different portions of the trail. Alisar reported that her first ride with the Bikepool was easy, fun, and something she wants to do again in the future!
Biking with others provides safety in numbers. A group of people on bikes is much more visible to drivers in cars than a solo cyclist. In addition, biking with others can also lead to fun in numbers: imagine shedding your commute road rage for an invigorating group bike ride.
Bikepool is not just for fearless cyclists. Each of the predefined rides is led by an experienced, friendly chauffeur who has knowledge of cycling rules and a bicycle toolkit. The rides are led at a moderate pace that allows people with all levels of experience of biking to participate.
Are you interested in trying Bikepool? Bikepool is starting with three routes between downtown and Almaden, Willow Glen, and Beryessa. If you are interested in joining a Bikepool, either on one of these existing routes or a future route near your home, please fill out this form to give us more information.
As we develop the Bikepool program, routes and times will be adjusted to meet the needs of our participants. Your feedback is important to help us build a better program!