Walnut Creek city council to get report on expanded bikeshare program

Pictued: a Lime scooter. Lime has opted to not renew its Walnut Creek agreement for bike sharing.

Walnut Creek, one of the first East Bay cities to welcome publicly shared bicycles to its streets, has been working to pave the way for a wider variety of "micromobility" options including electric scooters and electric bikes.

On Tuesday, the Walnut Creek City Council will get an update on an expanded First/Last Mile Shared Micromobility Pilot Program.

The three primary goals of that program are diversifying options beyond the current bicycles; providing safe, convenient and affordable micromobility options to help with the "first mile/last mile" gap issue involving mass transit options; and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from short trips and connections to transit.

City staff has been working with the city Transportation Commission's Shared Mobility Working Group to shape the future program goals, pilot structure and terms for the expanded pilot program, which likely would include electric scooters and other types of vehicles.

In January 2018, Walnut Creek approved a plan for up to two private bicycle/scooter operators in connection with a pilot stationless bikeshare program that began at the city's Shadelands business park.

Operator Limebike (later simply Lime) operated that program, one of the East Bay's first such programs.

In May 2018, that program expanded to downtown.

Over the course of the pilot program, more than 26,000 trips were taken by approximately 9,000 people using Lime's service, according to a city staff report.

In October 2018, staff released a public survey to gather feedback on the bikeshare pilot program and found that 73 percent of over 300 survey responders were supportive of the pilot program, and an even greater percentage (81 percent) supported the continuation of the pilot program if their top concerns -- bike availability and parking style -- were addressed.

Lime, meanwhile, has opted to not renew its Walnut Creek agreement. The city hopes to pair up with one or two other operators