Bike Sharing

Project Overview

Ford GoBike Users in San Francisco

Bicycle sharing, also called bikeshare, is a relatively new and fast-growing point-to-point transportation mode that enables members or day users to rent a bicycle at very affordable rates for short trips. In station-based bikeshare, users can check bikes out from automated docking stations located in the parking lane or on the sidewalk and return them to any of the other stations in the system. Stationless bicycle sharing employs free-floating bicycles without stations and docks. Users of stationless systems download a mobile app to unlock the bikes, which can be left at or near bike racks on city sidewalks.

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Project Details

Bicycle sharing, also called bikeshare, is a relatively new and fast-growing point-to-point transportation mode that enables members or day users to rent a bicycle at very affordable rates for short trips.  In station-based bikeshare, users can check bikes out from automated docking stations located in the parking lane or on the sidewalk and return them to any of the other stations in the system.  Stationless bicycle sharing employs free-floating bicycles without stations and docks.  Users of stationless systems download a mobile app to unlock the bikes, which can be left at or near bike racks on city sidewalks.

The SFMTA, in partnership with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, brought Bay Area Bike Share to San Francisco in August 2013 with 350 bikes and 35 stations. After four successful years as a small-scale proof-of-concept, the service shut down on June 11th, 2017 in preparation for a major expansion and rebranding as Ford GoBike. 

With sponsorship from the Ford Motor Company, in 2017 the Bay Area’s regional bikeshare system will begin a major expansion from 700 to 7,000 bikes, ultimately covering half of San Francisco with 320 stations and adding stations in the East Bay and San Jose.   More details can be found in the press release on the GoBike website.

In June 2017, the SFMTA finalized a permit application for stationless bicycle sharing programs.  Questions about the application may be directed to the SFMTA’s Bicycle Sharing Program Manager Heath Maddox (415) 701-4605 or heath.maddox@sfmta.com.

Bike Share in the Bay Area is Expanding!

Over the course of a phased rollout in San Francisco, San Jose, and the East Bay, the new Ford GoBike system is expanding coverage with all-new equipment to 7,000 bikes in five cities (4,500 in San Francisco), making it one of the largest and densest bike-share systems in North America.  The new system went live in San Francisco on June 28, 2017 with a limited number of stations in the existing service area in and around Downtown.  The first two phases of expansion will continue all summer to add Upper Market, the Castro, the Mission, SoMa, Mission Bay, the Haight, Hayes Valley, and Western Addition neighborhoods. Phases three and four, reaching the southern and western neighborhoods, will come in early 2018.

The Benefits of Bike Sharing

Bike sharing programs have numerous advantages for cities, bringing all the benefits of bicycling, such as: reduced traffic congestion, improved public health and air quality and job creation, all with relatively low public investment.  Bikeshare pairs particularly well with traditional transit to provide a convenient and fast first- and last-mile connection.

Bikeshare is a fun, easy and affordable way to get around that helps address barriers to using a bike in the city, like storage and bike theft. It also introduces new audiences to the freedom and convenience of using bicycles for short trips.

How ford gobike Works

Membership rates to join Ford GoBike are $149 for an annual pass, $3 for a single 30-minute ride, or $9.95 for a day pass. Annual pass holders are entitled to unlimited trips of up to 45 minutes; day pass holders must re-dock every 30 minutes. 

GoBike bicycles are extremely robust, commuter-style bikes built to withstand constant use and resist theft. The uniquely one-size-fits-all designed bikes are comfortable for short and tall alike and feature low gears, upright handlebars, wide seats, hand brakes, a front basket and a chain guard to protect clothing. Built-in headlights and taillights illuminate automatically when the bike is pedaled. 

Whether you’re riding your own bike or a GoBike, remember these important rules of the road:

  • Yield to pedestrians
  • Walk bikes on the sidewalk
  • Obey traffic signals and signs
  • Ride with traffic

About ford gobike

The GoBike system expansion is being built and operated by Bay Area Motivate with sponsorship from the Ford Motor Company.  

Station Planning in San Francisco

You may have noticed the solar-powered, automated bikeshare stations on San Francisco’s streets and sidewalks and wondered, “Why is this here?”

Experience from other cities in Europe and North America has shown that to maximize customer satisfaction and success, bike sharing stations should be spaced at least every 2 to 3 blocks throughout the service area so that stations are separated by no more than a five-minute walk. 

Some factors considered when determining ideal locations for stations within the service area were topography, job density, transit connections, bike rack requests, proximity to the bikeway network and general support of station neighbors. Station locations are prioritized to complement regional transportation stations such as BART, Caltrain and the Ferry Building. The locations also provide convenient options for residents, commuters and visitors making short trips to and from these facilities, to places of employment and residences, and to social and recreational destinations. 

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