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Bikeshare Station Expansion and e-Bike Price Changes

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Photo of Baywheels bike station

As San Francisco's Bikeshare program administrator, the SFMTA recently approved a price increase for Bay Wheels stationless e-bike trips that will take effect September 23, 2021.

Bikesharing systems have been an important contribution to the rise in popularity of bicycling in San Francisco over the past decade. Bikeshare programs lower barriers to bicycling by overcoming the challenges of owning, storing and securing one’s own vehicle. Shared bicycles also offer a solution for the "last mile" connections that allow for more effective travel by transit so that one can complete their so-called “last mile” to their destination by bicycle.

The SFMTA regulates bikeshare service in order to provide equitable access to shared bicycles for all San Franciscans, as well as ensuring proper placement of stations or unstationed vehicles.  Before and throughout the pandemic, bicycling has increased, and our bikeshare program is part of that trend.

Per minute e-bike fees will increase from $0.15 to $0.20 per minute for members and from $0.20 to $0.30 per minute for non-members. And overage fees for all users will switch from a per-15-minute fee to a per-minute fee.

The SFMTA’s agreement with Bay Wheels allows for e-bike pricing to be reasonably set to sustain service. This includes raising revenue to support the system during heavy losses from ridership declines during COVID-19, and theft and vandalism.

Bay Wheels Commitments

In exchange for the pricing increase, Bay Wheels has committed to expanding access to both e-bikes and regular bicycles. They have agreed to install 35 additional stations by March 2022 for a total of 290 total stations citywide. In addition, they will provide up to 2,000 free Bike Share for All (low-income) memberships, to be distributed via community partners. Bay Wheels will provide promotional pricing including reduced prices in conjunction with Bike to Work month in May 2022, free e-bike unlocks for up to 5,000 trips for new users, and a 20% discount on annual memberships for over 2,000 new members.

The agreement with Bay Wheels also calls for eliminating any additional price changes for at least ten months and committing to increased social media promotion of the Adaptive Bikeshare program.

There is no price change for regular pedal bikes ridden by members over the 45-minute base period.  ($159 annual, $25/month). Additionally, there is no change to pricing for Bike Share for All, the low-income membership program.

Other stationless pricing discounts remain the same. There is still no parking fee for stationless e-Bikes ending trips at stations, or in specific zones without stations. Trips to and from specific areas will continue to have capped per-minute fees.