UCSC part of regional partnership bringing bike share to Santa Cruz County

UC Santa Cruz community members will soon have access to a new bike share system that stretches across the county. Starting this June, e-Bikes will be available to rent through the Regional Electric Bike Share Program. The program is a partnership between UCSC, the County of Santa Cruz, Cabrillo College, and the cities of Santa Cruz, Capitola and Watsonville. 

“UCSC is happy to be partnering with our neighbors on this exciting initiative,” Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS) Executive Director Dan Henderson said. “Bike share can be greatly beneficial to not only our university affiliates, but to all persons in the region when they choose their commute mode. We hope that our students, employees, and guests consider this low-cost and convenient alternative to single occupancy vehicles when traveling to and from our campus, and around the region.” 

“The City and our regional partners are excited to bring an improved bike share system to Santa Cruz at no-cost to our jurisdictions with expanded service area and important docking system,” said City of Santa Cruz Transportation Planner Claire Gallogly.   

This bike share system reflects the commitment of the participants to reduce single-occupant vehicle trips, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve multimodal mobility, and increase the number of trips made by sustainable transportation modes.

Initially, approximately 400 BCycle e-Bikes and 800 docks will be available throughout the City of Santa Cruz and UCSC. There will be more than 25 docking locations across the residential campus, Westside Research Park, and the Coastal Science Campus. In 2024, bike share is expected to expand to Capitola, Cabrillo College, and Watsonville. BCycle and its parent company, Trek, are financing all capital costs. 

“If you live outside of biking distance from campus, and you work or attend classes at UCSC you can use bike share to move around campus or between campuses,” explained Jonathan Weidman, TAPS Associate Director. “You can also commute with it from the city of Santa Cruz.” 

Using the BCycle app, riders can access and unlock bikes. The app and BCycle website will show bike locations and battery charge levels.The e-bikes must be picked up and dropped off at any of the dedicated BCycle docks.

Walk-up, monthly and annual rental rates will be available. Active UCSC community members can sign up for special affiliate rates through an annual Bike Share membership - $12/year for active students and $59/year for employees. The membership includes unlimited 60-minute rides. For more information and updates on bike share, subscribe to the TAPS monthly newsletter, Slugs on the Move.  

Slug Bike Life provides free helmets, workshops to campus members on e-Bike safety, what to consider when buying an electric bike, and opportunities to try one out before you decide what to buy, as well as other important biking topics.

Save the date for a June 20th ribbon cutting at Santa Cruz City Hall from 2 to 4 pm.