Pardon the local entry boring to those outside this valley.
San Jose is seeking something "distinctive" for the airport remodel. Let me suggest something I have not seen anywhere else, something that would say something about the area.
San Jose has a bike trail that, except for a short gap, runs along the Guadalupe River from the airport terminals to almost highway 280. The part along Airport Blvd is unpaved, the rest is paved and landscaped. Step one would be to complete this trail and pave the unpaved part. Until the gap can be filled in, create some clearly marked bike lanes. Also do a lane on San Carlos, Park or San Fernando to lead to the convention center and downtown hotels.
Next: Franchise or subsidize specialty one-way bike and electric scooter rentals at both ends. Have regular bikes with towable trailers or trikes, and have electric powered bikes and scooters (again with luggage capacity) for those unwilling to get in some exercise. Make the rental cheap, like a few dollars each way.
This is worth doing just for the polution it would avoid with all those folks taking cabs. (Let's face it, people are not using the shuttle to the light rail much.) It would actually be faster in may cases than either of those methods, especially during rush hour. It would expose the visitor to something other than the highway trip. With San Jose's weather, it could operate well most of the year.One minor problem is that if it becomes a success, you would see everybody wanting to get a bike at the airport in the morning and wanting to go back in the evening. If this is the case, a small truck with trailer could haul back all the
bikes. Or raise the rate and have one-day rentals. Electric scooters are cheap -- labour would be the largest cost.
The trip is about 2.5 miles, by the way. On a 15mph scooter that's 10 minutes,
on a 10mph gentle bike ride it's 15 minutes.
Offer fancy scooters like the Segway and people might also be very keen, even going into the convention center with them. Though the Segway isn't from silicon valley it seems like it should be.
But in fact this becomes worth subsidizing because it takes cars off the road, reducing pollution and congestion, encourages exercise and is fun. Tourist guidebooks would write about it for being so unusual. Does any city have this in the G7 world? (I bet it exists in countries that make much heavier use of scooters and bikes as in Asia and the less developed nations.)