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05/12/2009

May 14 - Bike To Work Day

PRESS RELEASE

Bicyclists Take to the Streets for Bike to Work Day May 14

OAKLAND, Calif., May 12 /PRNewswire/ -- With only two days to go until Bike to Work Day, sponsors are predicting that hundreds of thousands of Bay Area residents will ditch their cars and get to work on two wheels on Thursday, May 14 - the region's 15th annual Bike to Work Day.

Meanwhile, over 450 teams - comprising 1,330 people - are pumping their way to work and play every day, in an effort to log the most points. They are part of Team Bike Challenge, a month-long competition where teams compete to win a grand prize Peak Racks bike rack that will be placed in a public location of the winning team's choice. As part of the Team Bike Challenge, established bicycle commuters recruit their colleagues, friends, neighbors and local "bigwigs" to bike for most of their May trips to work, school and other destinations.

"As a participant in past Team Bike Challenges, I have found that using my bike can get me anywhere I need to go quickly, with a lot less stress," says Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager, who also serves as a member of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), which funds a major portion of the Bay Area's Bike to Work Day activities. "It's also a great way to get your exercise in before the workday."

Already, more than 300,000 bicycle trips are made every weekday by Bay Area residents. According to MTC's most recent Bay Area Travel Survey, more of these bicycle trips are to work than for any other purpose (81,000 each day), but there are almost as many bike-to-shop trips across the region (75,000).

"MTC is pleased to support Bike to Work Day as part of our overall strategy to improve mobility and the environment in the Bay Area," said Randy Rentschler, director of legislation and public affairs at MTC.

Alternative transportation is an important component of MTC's newly-adopted Transportation 2035 Plan for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. The plan boosts bicycling infrastructure investment fivefold over earlier regional transportation plans (from $200 million to $1 billion). It also increases funding to spur compact transit-oriented development, which in turn encourages more walking and biking trips, and launches a new Climate Action Program that will provide funding for safe bicycle trips to transit and school.

Nearly half of the 2,100 miles of continuous and connected bicycling corridors planned for the Bay Area already have been completed, according to MTC's just-adopted 2009 Regional Bicycle Plan. The $1 billion that MTC has committed to help finance the Regional Bikeway Network will help to complete the on-street portion of these corridors.

The San Francisco Bay Area's Bike to Work Day 2009 is sponsored by MTC in conjunction with Kaiser Permanente, and with support from the Bay Area Bicycle Coalition, county bicycle coalitions, county congestion management agencies and hundreds of local volunteers. Information about Bike to Work Day is available on the Bicycling page of MTC's traveler information service at www.511.org.

MTC is the regional transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.

Source: Metropolitan Transportation Commission

CONTACT: Randy Rentschler of MTC, +1-510-817-5780; or Andrew Casteel,
BABC, (Bay Area Bicycle Coalition), +1-510-250-0909

Web Site: http://www.mtc.ca.gov/

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