by Isabella Furth
North County commuters can check out the latest in bicycle parking facilities at the recently opened Sabre Springs/Peñasquitos Transit Station.
Unlike the bike lockers offered in other parts of the city, the new kiosk is a walk-in facility offering secure rack space for up to 20 bikes, plus a pump and a repair station. Windows and extensive lighting make it easy to see who is inside, and the kiosk is also protected by interior and exterior security cameras.
The facility makes it easy for multi-modal commuters to take advantage of the new all-day express bus service between Downtown and Escondido (express bus service will expand to include Sorrento Valley and UC San Diego this October). The LEED-certified transit center also offers a 630-space parking garage for automobiles, including electric car charging stations.
The bike parking station can be opened with a specially registered Compass card. These cards cost only $2.00 and can be purchased at most Albertson’s grocery stores, as well as the MTS Transit Store downtown. There is no need to purchase a monthly bus pass.
Danny Avita, coordinator of iCommute’s Bike Locker program, says that people have registered for about half of the available spots at the Sabre Springs location; in the coming months, SANDAG plans to track usage and may issue more access cards to accommodate occasional users as well as commuters.
Usage has been modest but steady: on a recent weekday there were several bikes hanging on the vertical racks.
Avita says the feedback on the bike parking has been very positive. “People like that it has so many spaces and is so visible to users,” he said. “I hear a lot from folks who would like to see these facilities in their neighborhoods around the city.” There are currently no fixed plans to build more. “I tell them we’d love to do that if we had the money,” Avita said, “but it may take a while.”
To sign up for access to the bike lockers, visit http://icommutesd.com and create an account, or log into your existing iCommute account. Once you are logged in, click on “Commute Services” to see the list of bike locker locations and submit your request. Once the request is processed, you will be asked to submit a copy of your driver’s license or California ID along with a copy of your Compass card. (Bike lockers in other locations require a $25 key deposit; this fee does not apply to the Sabre Springs location.) The whole process takes 3-4 business days.
Kiosk and friend, Bike to Work Day 2014. (photo I. Furth)