SFMTA and Bay Wheels Reach Agreement
Earlier this week, the SFMTA and Bay Wheels, also known as Lyft Bikes, reached a 4-year agreement to provide 4,000 stationless shared e-bikes throughout San Francisco. Under the agreement, Lyft will begin to deploy 4,000 new e-bikes starting in December 2019 with full rollout by April 2020. The new e-bikes will work as "hybrids" that can be docked at stations but also locked to bike racks around the City. This stationless functionality will expand the reach of the system and provide citywide access to bikeshare.
The hybrid e-bikes are in addition to the 4,500 traditional pedal bikes already provided for by SFMTA's contract with Lyft, allowing Lyft to operate up to 8,500 total bikes in San Francisco. This agreement is the result of a Superior Court order requiring the parties to negotiate under the "Right of First Offer" provision regarding e-bikes in the existing contract between SFMTA and Motivate. This bikeshare expansion is in addition to the existing 500 stationless JUMP e-bikes.
The terms of the agreement ensure that shared e-bikes will be a reliable, accessible and affordable transportation choice for San Francisco riders. In particular, the agreement has introduced new, more stringent performance standards and requirements to ensure that Lyft provides reliable and redundant service. Other examples include:
- Requiring bicycles to have components that can be easily replaced with alternatives, in the case any hardware issues arise
- Providing SFMTA with the right to permit a second operator if service thresholds are not consistently met
- $300,000 in fees to fund SFMTA bike rack installation citywide
While the Lyft e-bikes can be parked to any bike rack, bikeshare stations will remain a critical part of the system, increasing predictability for users and reducing overcrowding in high-demand areas. Through recent expansion, Lyft now has over 200 stations in San Francisco, up from approximately 130 a year ago, including stations in the Richmond, Marina, Inner Sunset, Ingleside and Bayview neighborhoods.
The new hybrid e-bikes will supplement stations, allowing for bikeshare to become a new travel option across numerous neighborhoods and destinations and help meet the diverse, unique and shifting needs across our city.
We are pleased this agreement will expand the number of safe and reliable options to travel throughout San Francisco.