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11,000 Bikes! Bike share to Expand Citywide

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

bikes at a stop light

San Francisco is bullish on biking. It’s one of the cleanest, cheapest, quickest and most fun ways to get around town. Since 2013, cycling has gotten more and more convenient thanks to the expansion of the Ford GoBike system and the JUMP stationless service pilot. We want to build on this success and make bike share accessible for even more riders in San Francisco. We’re doing that today by releasing the Stationless Bikeshare Program Application and eventually issuing a limited number of permits to operators who meet San Francisco’s high standards for safety, equity and accountability.

The results are clear!

Our experience as a national leader in bike share has taught us some key lessons:

  • Public demand for shared and stationless electric bikes is high.
  • Integrated locks largely address issues with improper parking and sidewalk access.
  • Throughout the course of the stationless bikeshare pilot, Ford GoBike has consistently set new ridership records. As of early April, Ford GoBike served over 9,000 trips per day on an average weekday.

We can build on those successes and expand the number of neighborhoods served by bike share.

Will bikeshare stations disappear? No!

Bikeshare stations are the cornerstone of any bikeshare system because they are critically important to organizing a large number of bicycles and preventing sidewalk clutter near transit hubs. A stationless system can help fill in the gaps where stations are yet to arrive or where stations are not required. We see the combination of both systems as the best fit for our unique City and an important part of our transportation network.

  • Stations enhance system reliability by providing users with certainty about where they can find and return bicycles.
  • As the bikeshare industry moves to an increasingly electric fleet, stations also provide the potential for charging infrastructure in the public right-of-way, reducing operating costs and increasing system sustainability.
  • San Francisco has over 165 bikeshare stations and we need more to achieve our goals.
  • Ford GoBike (owned by Lyft) has an exclusive contract to provide bikeshare stations in San Francisco (and other Bay Area cities) and we are excited about working with Lyft to continue to expand and enhance this system and to look for opportunities to integrate stationless bikes into it.

What's next you ask?

Being ambitious about citywide bikeshare means thinking big - 10,000 - 11,000 shared bikes big. That’s the number of bikes we think could be sustained by the high demand San Franciscans have for bike share. That’s a four-fold increase over the number of bikes that Ford GoBike and JUMP operate today. Opening the stationless bikeshare program for significant expansion is the next step toward achieving that goal. The application period closes in June and the SFMTA anticipates announcing any new permits by July 2019.

We will also continue to expand the network of Ford GoBike stations throughout the City, as well as explore options to seamlessly integrate stationless bikes into the existing Ford GoBike system.