SocialBicycles bike

How it works

Here is

  1. Reserve

    Book a bike

    Find and reserve a bike using our mobile app, on the web at, or by entering your account number on the bike’s keypad.

  2. Release

    Unlock Process

    Once you’ve reserved a ride, just enter your 4­-digit PIN code on the keypad to unlock the bike. Remember to ride safely and follow safety rules.

  3. Ride

    Enjoy your time!

    Want to stop for coffee? Press the “HOLD” button and lock the bike to a rack. Just enter your 4-digit PIN to unlock and continue riding.

  4. Return

    Quick & easy!

    To end your trip, just lock your bike at one of our convenient hub locations free of charge or at any regular bike rack inside the system area for a small additional fee.

Watch "How it works" video


How much does it cost

Plans descriptions

  • Trips are prorated to the minute.
  • Put a bike on hold before locking it to a rack to keep it in your name. The clock will still keep ticking.
  • Clock starts when you reserve a bike via mobile/web.

Miscellaneous Activity Charges / Credits

  • Out-of-Hub Fee / $3 charge

  • Out of System (out of geographic boundaries) / $100 charge

  • Reserve bike for up to 10 min / Standard fees applies

Mobile Application

Find and Reserve via

Not near a computer? Want to reserve that last bike? You can use our mobile applications for iOS and Android to find the nearest bikes, hub locations, promotions, and more.

We’re committed to a great mobile app experience and are regularly improving existing features and adding new features to both our web and mobile apps. Have some feedback for us? You can use our help desk to learn more about features in the works and let us know what you think we should add or improve.

* one app works across all networks!

About us

Want to know more

Bay Bikes

The Bay Bikes bike sharing system is an innovative approach to bike sharing that uses a “smart bike” system as opposed to the “smart hub” system, used by other bike share programs in the region. A smart bike system has the technology for locating, renting, releasing and locking on the bikes as opposed to on the bike racks. The advantages  of this system is  that the bikes can be parked at standard bike racks allowing for more flexibility at siting bike hubs, locking bikes mid-reservation, and allowing bikes to be left at non-hub locations at the end of a reservation. The City of San Mateo is proud to be taking a leadership role in piloting this new bike share system and hopes that it will expand in the future to neighboring communities.

Member Benefits


Monthly memberships include a free hour of riding per day, perfect for commuting or running errands. If you need more time, or prefer to pay-as-you-go, the hourly rate is $5/hour pro-rated to whatever time you use.


In addition to access in your own community, our members automatically receive pay-as-you-go access to all of Social Bicycles’ current and soon-to-launch bike share programs. Perfect for the traveling cyclist.

Our Team

Bay Bikes is operated by Bikes Make Life Better, a Bay-area bike fleet operator, with funding and support from the City of San Mateo. The bicycles and technology are by Social Bicycles, a leading provider of smart-bike share systems.


Bikes Make Life Better is actively recruiting to fill the following roles within our operating entity. We will be posting more information about these and other job opportunities in the future. If you would like to learn more or discuss one of these roles with us please let us know by using our contact form.

Job offers:

Bike Rebalancer

The hard-working folks who move bikes from where they are to where they aren’t - if you like working outside and have mechanical aptitude let us know.



Launching in May 2016, Bay Bikes is San Mateo’s bike share system. It will enhance San Mateo’s transportation options with cutting-edge bikes around town available 24/7. Use them for the commute, to do errands, visit friends or just for fun!


The Bay Bikes pilot will feature about a dozen hubs located in near Caltrain stations, downtown, and major employment centers, and bikes can be ridden throughout the San Mateo city limits.


Bay Bikes enhances transportation options, reduces traffic congestion and helps boost the local economy!


Use the Register button at the top of this page to start the process - You’ll need a credit or debit card, be over the age of 16, and an internet connected computer or smart phone to complete the process. Once you’ve registered, you can check out a bike via the app or by using your PIN.


We recommend you bring your own helmet to wear while riding Bay Bikes. Helmets can be purchased at your local bike shop.


If you have any questions about Bay Bikes feel free to contact us using the form our our contact information at the bottom of this page, or visit the knowledge base at

Safety rules

Stay safe and follow the

  • Do a Pre-Ride Check

    Check the bike’s tire pressure, try the grip bell, and if you’re riding at night check that the front and rear lights are illuminated. If your bike has a problem, follow the directions at this link to report it and check out another.

  • Wear

    Wear a helmet whenever you ride. 

    Replace your helmet after any crash. 

    Avoid common helmet mistakes such 

    as loose straps.

  • Follow the Rules

    Yield to pedestrians. Stop at all red lights and stop signs. Ride in the direction of traffic. Use the grip bell to signal your presence. Do not wear more than one earphone while riding.

  • Be predictable

    Plan your route before you ride to follow the safest route to get you where you want to go. You can use our app to find your way to a bike you’ve reserved or to a hub when you want to end your ride.

  • Do not ride on sidewalks

    Riding on the sidewalk is dangerous and illegal. If you must ride on the sidewalk for a short distance, always ride at a walking pace, watch for pedestrians and yield to them at all times, and use caution at every driveway and intersection.

  • Turns and line changes

    Make it easy for the other traffic around you. Don’t make unexpected turns that put yourself and others in danger. Ride at a steady pace so other vehicles can anticipate your movement.

Become a Sponsor

Associate your brand with bike share

Host a bike share station on your property

  • Drive traffic to your business
  • Foster happy, healthy and productive employees
  • Make it convenient for customers to shop
  • Please tenants, increase property value
  • Enhance your visibility in the community
  • Display your logo on various elements of the system
  • High-profile advertising opportunities
  • Advertise on stations, bikes, the website, print materials, mobile applications and more!

Contact us for more details


Follow our stories

What’s going on?

San Mateo approves bike share program

The San Mateo City Council recently approved a contract for a 50-bike pilot bike share program within the city. The program, according to a press release from the city of San Mateo, will be made possible through a partnership between Social Bicycles, a New York-based bike share purveyor and Bikes Make Life Better, a local bicycle operator that runs bike share programs on corporate campuses throughout the Bay Area.

Read more

San Mateo Pilots Bike Share Program

On November 16th the San Mateo City Council approved a plan for the City to pilot a bike share program beginning May of 2016 in a pursuit for sustainable transportation. The plan includes 50 bicycles and 10 to 12 bike stations to park the bikes throughout San Mateo, conveniently located near Caltrain stations, high density residential areas, and major employment centers.

Read more

San Mateo approves pilot program for a different type of bike-share program

San Mateo is looking to break the mold when it comes to bike-sharing. A program called Bay Area Bike Share is active in Redwood City, Palo Alto, Mountain View, San Jose and San Francisco. The 700-bike, 70-station program is operated by Motivate and requires users to park at stations at the end of their rental period.

Read more

Drop us a line

Best way to contact us

San Mateo Bike Share

Bikes Make Life Better

PO Box 185, San Mateo

CA 94401

(650) 524-5346

Thank you!

We will get back to you as soon as we finish riding our amazing bikes!

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