Project overview: Expand the popular Yosemite Bike Share program, a free service for short pedal-powered trips in Yosemite Valley, by adding bicycles and pick-up locations.
The backstory: Traffic jams are a frequent occurrence in Yosemite Valley during busy summer months, with cars inching toward parking spots, campgrounds and trailheads. As the park actively explores options for addressing congestion, improving traffic flow and decreasing air pollution in the Valley, the Yosemite Bike Share offers a way to help reduce the number of cars on the roads: two-wheeled, people-powered transit.
The Yosemite Bike Share launched in 2018 as a Conservancy-funded pilot designed to help people get around the Valley in the summer without having to get in their cars. Instead of relying on vehicles for quick errands, such as picking up supplies in Yosemite Village, bike-share users can use a mobile app to unlock a bicycle, cruise on flat paths, and avoid crowded roads and parking areas.
During the past three years, the bike-share team has worked to evaluate and improve the program, by gathering user feedback, upgrading the mobile app, and refining bike pick-up and drop-off locations. In 2020, as the bike share proved to be an exceptionally valuable (and popular) transportation alternative while park shuttles were shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the team introduced special safety measures, including sanitizing bikes and helmets between rides.
This year: Your 2021 support will help purchase 25 new bikes for the Yosemite Bike Share fleet, so even more visitors can enjoy quick, free rides in the Valley. The bike-share team will hire two part-time seasonal employees to help keep track of and maintain the bikes, and they will add bike pick-up/drop-off locations at the Upper and Lower Pines campgrounds and Camp 4, in addition to continuing to operate sites in and near Yosemite Village. They’re also working with researchers from the BicyclingPlus Research Collaborative at University of California, Davis, on a study exploring people’s usage of and attitudes toward bike shares.
With your support, the Yosemite Bike Share team will be able to expand the program, keep the bikes clean and safe, and continue to offer a fun, environmentally friendly alternative to driving.
Want to try the bike share on your next summer visit? Check out our Yosemite Bike Share page — and don’t forget to put on the helmet that comes with your bike (or bring your own)!
Project partner: Yosemite National Park.