The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), joined by global bike share leader Motivate, Ford Motor Company, regional officials and scores of community members — today launched the region’s new bike share system, Ford GoBike.
This morning’s public celebration on the plaza across from San Francisco’s historic Ferry Building builds on the vision set forth by the MTC and the nation’s most forward-thinking mayors who united to create the second largest bike share network in the United States to improve regional transportation options, quality of life, health and affordability.
Today marks the start of a five-city buildout spree. By Labor Day, Ford GoBike will offer 3,500 bicycles at 332 stations. And when fully installed next year, the program will boast 7,000 bikes at 546 stations — spanning San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Berkeley and Emeryville. This tenfold expansion comes at no cost to taxpayers, and will bring bike sharing to the East Bay for the first time.
“Today is a testament to the growing bike revolution that is sweeping the nation and we are proud to be creating the nation’s second biggest bike share, guided by the aspirations of thousands of residents, local agencies and elected officials from across the Bay Area,” said Jay Walder, CEO of Motivate, as the event approached. “It includes Ford, whose sponsorship speaks so powerfully to bike share’s arrival as mainstay of urban transportation today. All of us at Motivate are grateful partners in a Ford GoBike effort that will reshape urban mobility in the Bay Area, and admirably represent our shared values for equity and sustainability.”
In his role as emcee at the event, Walder said that "Ford GoBike will be the most equitable bike share program in the United States." Initially, MTC, Motivate and Ford agreed that 20 percent of the bikes would be positioned in disadvantaged neighborhoods. But under the deployment plan that ultimately materialized, nearly 35 percent of the stations will be in these communities. "Moreover, it's going to be affordable to everyone," Walder said.
Under the "Bike Share for All" access program, Ford GoBike is offering an introductory rate of just $5 for the entire first year of membership to qualifying low-income residents, as compared to a general annual membership fee of $149 (which is discounted to $124 a year during the introductory period). Residents lacking a credit or debit card can pay this modest fee in cash at a number of locations, including The Hub, a commuter service center located at MTC's offices at the Bay Area Metro Center (375 Beale Street, San Francisco). Users can also by a day pass or a single-ride pass rather than buying a year-long membership.
“Ford GoBike represents a valued new collaboration for Ford with the communities of the Bay Area where working together, we can enhance mobility for millions of residents, making it easier to get around the cities they love,” said Jessica Robinson, director of City Solutions, Ford Motor Company., who also spoke at the event. “With Ford GoBike, we’re able to dramatically expand access to an urban mobility solution that’s accessible, affordable, sustainable and fun.”
Representing MTC at the celebration was the agency's chair, Rohnert Park Mayor Jake Mackenzie, who talked about the joy of being able to commute to MTC meetings in San Francisco via a transit-bike chain starting with the soon-to-open Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) from his home town to San Rafael, followed by a short hop to a ferry that will cross the Bay to San Francisco, and cycling the last leg on a Ford GoBike. Helping to tie this bike-transit network together is MTC's Clipper® card, which can be used to ride 22 public transit systems around the region, and now can also be used to check-out a bike from the Ford GoBike system (although Clipper cannot be used for bike share payments at the moment). The first 1,000 founding members of Ford GoBike will receive a specially branded Clipper card, although any Clipper card will work in the system.
"This is a longtime goal of our organization," Mackenzie said.
MTC Commissioner and San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim was also in attendance, as were MTC Commissioners Amy Worth (representing the cities of Contra Costa County on MTC), Julie Pierce (representing the Association of Bay Area Governments), Warren Slocum (representing San Mateo County) and Alfredo Pedroza (representing Napa County and its cities).
In addition to announcing the significant expansion of the region’s bike share program, officials today announced that Alaska Airlines will sponsor 274 Ford GoBike stations throughout San Francisco, the East Bay and San Jose.
“Alaska Airlines is thrilled to play a role in expanding everyday transportation options in the Bay Area,” said Annabel R. Chang, Alaska Airlines’ vice president, Bay Area. “The Ford GoBike program will enable residents and visitors alike to explore this beautiful city on wheels whenever they want them.”
This innovative public-private partnership has created the nation’s second largest bike share program, all without taxpayer funding, thanks to sponsorship from Ford and underwriting from City National Bank.
“City National Bank is so pleased to help support Motivate and this new regional bike share network that will transform the way people travel throughout the Bay Area, especially low-income residents,” said Michael Walker, executive vice president and regional executive for Northern California with City National. “We have been supporting businesses, entrepreneurs and families in the Bay Area since 2000 and this innovative program will enhance the communities in which we live and work.”
Mayors Laud the Program
While not present at the event, the mayors of the three largest anchor cities participating in Ford GoBike offered words of thanks and excitement.
“Bike sharing helps reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality and make neighborhoods more livable,” said San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee. “Ford GoBike makes this mode of transportation a safe, accessible and convenient option for residents and communities across San Francisco.”
“As a mayor and an MTC commissioner, I’m proud that the Bay Area has truly baked social equity into our bike sharing program,” Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, who represents her city on MTC. “By providing a very affordable option of just $5 for the first year, placing stations in communities of every income level, and hiring employees from the diverse communities it serves, Ford GoBike’s ‘Bike Share For All’ program is on the fast track to becoming the most inclusive program of its kind in the county.”
“This expansion of Ford GoBike benefits our residents by reducing traffic, improving air quality, and making it easier for commuters to connect to transit,” San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, who represents his city on MTC. “With over 80 stations coming to San Jose and 546 Ford GoBike stations in the Bay Area, more families will be able to grab a bike and take healthier trips to their favorite destinations.”
Ford GoBike is the Bay Area’s newest sustainable transportation option. The system will serve San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Berkeley and Emeryville and rapidly grow to 7,000 bikes at 546 stations by the end of 2018. Annual memberships include unlimited short (45 minute) trips. Twenty-four-hour and three-day access passes provide unlimited 30-minute trips. Ford GoBike for All offers $5/year introductory memberships and cash-payments available for low income residents. For more information or to purchase a membership, visit FordGoBike.com or download the Ford GoBike mobile app.
Motivate, the global leader in bike share, operates tens of thousands of bikes across four continents. Led by an executive team with deep experience at the highest levels of public transportation and technology, the company is relentlessly focused on innovation and has a proven and sustainable business model to manage complex operations and logistics. A vertically integrated company, Motivate controls the full technology stack, enabling us to lead on the design and deployment of the next generation of bike share technology. Motivate works in close partnership with government officials to implement bike share systems that meet the unique needs of the cities in which we operate. Motivate systems, including Citi Bike in New York, Divvy in Chicago, Capital Bikeshare in the D.C. area, Hubway in the Boston area, BIKETOWN in Portland and Ford GoBike in the San Francisco Bay Area, are responsible for over 80 percent of bike share trips taken annually. To learn more please visit the Motivate newsroom at motivateco.com/news.
MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. MTC also manages the Bay Area’s Clipper® card, which can now be used to unlock Ford GoBike. For more information, go to mtc.ca.gov.
Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles, provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification, autonomous vehicles and mobility solutions. Ford employs approximately 202,000 people worldwide. For more information regarding Ford, its products and Ford Motor Credit Company, please visit www.corporate.ford.com/.
With $45.0 billion in assets, City National Bank provides banking, investment and trust services through 72 offices, including 17 full-service regional centers, in Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area, Nevada, New York City, Nashville, Atlanta and Minneapolis. In addition, the company and its investment affiliates manage or administer $58.5 billion in client investment assets. City National is a subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies. RBC serves more than 16 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the United States and 35 other countries. For more information about City National, visit the company’s website at cnb.com.
Alaska Airlines, together with Virgin America and its regional partners, flies 40 million guests a year to 118 destinations with an average of 1,200 daily flights across the United States and to Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica and Cuba. With Alaska and Alaska Global Partners, guests can earn and redeem miles on flights to more than 900 destinations worldwide. Alaska Airlines ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Carriers in North America” in the J.D. Power North America Satisfaction Study for 10 consecutive years from 2008 to 2017. Alaska Mileage Plan ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Airline Loyalty Rewards Programs” in the J.D. Power 2016 Airline Loyalty/Rewards Program Satisfaction Report for the last three consecutive years. Learn more about Alaska’s award-winning service and unmatched reliability at newsroom.alaskaair.com and blog.alaskaair.com. Alaska Airlines, Virgin America and Horizon Air are subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK).
A Ford GoBike is specifically designed to more easily navigate the hills of San Francisco. Its sturdy aluminum frame offers a stable ride, while the adjustable, padded saddle seat is intended to provide comfort for any rider and is rain-resistant, as is the brake system contained within the frame. The bikes also feature a continuous variable hub providing a wide gear range, allowing riders to choose the right level of resistance from the Mission Flats to the Oakland Hills and everywhere in between. Puncture-resistant tires will remain inflated, and multiple motion-activated lights make riders visible at night.