SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Motivate and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) today announced a bold commitment to ensure that bike sharing is accessible to all Bay Area residents. As part of the tenfold bike share expansion from 700 to 7,000 bikes across San Francisco, the East Bay and San Jose, Motivate will offer a $5 introductory rate for Annual Membership to low-income Bay Area residents, available for the life of the program, which customers will be able to pay in cash instead of using a credit or debit card. MTC and Motivate also announced $260,000 in new funding for community-based organizations to conduct outreach and education for low-income and minority residents in the bike share service area.
The expansion of bike sharing in the Bay Area was made possible by a new public-private partnership with Motivate, who announced in September that the Ford Motor Company has signed on to support the program which will be renamed Ford GoBike.
The $5 first-year membership will be available to all Bay Area residents who qualify for Bay Area utility lifeline programs. Residents will also have the option to pay in cash, making bike share accessible to those who do not have access to credit cards. After the first year, members receiving the discounted rate will pay only $5/month to keep riding. This offer will be coupled with extensive outreach and education to help lower income residents map out how bike share can help meet their transportation needs.
The additions to Motivate’s bike share equity program were shaped by extensive conversations with MTC, city officials and local advocates. They were also informed by best practices from bike share programs across the nation.
The newly established outreach fund will expand upon the extensive work already done by Motivate, MTC and the partner cities to engage neighbors in the planning for an expanded bike share program. The outreach to date includes 22 public workshops in expansion neighborhoods, over 120 key stakeholder meetings and presentations, over 5,000 comments on the program’s Suggest-a-Station tool (suggest.bayareabikeshare.com/page/about), and door-to-door outreach for the 225 planned stations thus far.
“We strive to create bike share programs that reflect the great diversity of the communities we serve,” said Motivate President & CEO Jay Walder. “We are grateful for the leadership of MTC and the partnership of advocates across the Bay Area who are working with us to ensure that the Ford GoBike program sets a national example for equitable, inclusive bike share.”
The outreach fund, $140,000 of which is being provided by Motivate, will support communitybased organizations in educating neighborhoods new to bike sharing about the planning for and use of the bike share system in advance of and during expansion in spring 2017. These outreach efforts will include walking potential users through the station siting process, explaining the benefits of biking and bike share, and demystifying the membership requirements and signup process. Early feedback from this outreach will also be used to inform future phases of the system expansion.
The outreach programs will be spearheaded by TransForm, a nonprofit that promotes walkable communities with excellent transportation choices to connect people of all incomes to opportunity and help solve the climate crisis.
MTC took action on October 12, 2016, to approve the low-income membership incentives and to allocate funding to TransForm for the outreach campaign. “As bike sharing expands, we’re approaching equity and inclusiveness from two angles,” said MTC Chair Dave Cortese, who also is president of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. “First, we’re deeply discounting memberships for low-income users, and second, we’re putting boots on the ground in terms of getting out there in disadvantaged communities to get the word out about the benefits of bike sharing, and how to use it.”
“This investment in equity outreach will allow TransForm to partner with our local bicycle coalitions and community leaders to do the multilingual education crucial for increasing access to people of all incomes and backgrounds,” said Clarissa Cabansagan, senior community planner for TransForm. “We are thrilled that Motivate will work to ensure cash payment is available when bikes hit the ground and that the membership is only $5 for low-income members’ first year. At that rate it should be in the hands of all who qualify, and especially for those struggling against high housing and transportation costs.”
Another key factor to encouraging bike share ridership in low-income communities is making sure bikes are accessible, with stations placed every few blocks. Through the expansion, MTC and Motivate are siting new stations in low-income communities across the five participating cities and have committed to having at least 20 percent of stations in MTC-designated “Communities of Concern,” or neighborhoods that have concentrations of low-income and minority populations. To date, over half of the 264 existing and planned stations are in Communities of Concern, and future phases will include even more stations in disadvantaged expansion website at www.bayareabikeshare.com/expansion.
About the Expansion
The program will grow from 700 to 7,000 bikes with the first new stations being installed in spring 2017. Expansion will take place in phases, building outward from the existing service areas in San Francisco and San Jose and for the first time establishing a presence in the East Bay. Motivate and the MTC recently released more specific maps with the proposed station locations for Phase 2 expansion stations (Phase 1 locations were released earlier this year). Expansion is expected to be complete by the end of 2018.
Motivate will continue outreach as it plans additional phases of expansion, with Phase 3 public workshops wrapping up at the end of October (the workshop schedule is also available at www.bayareabikeshare.com/expansion).
At full build-out, the system will have stations every few blocks in San Francisco from the Bay to the Beach; it will connect Oakland, Berkeley and Emeryville; and extend the San Jose service area from the downtown core. It will link people to Muni and BART, to jobs and schools, to businesses and parks. San Francisco will have more bike share bikes per capita than any other system in North America and will have one of the highest ratios of bike share bikes, per capita, in the world.
The best bike share station locations are highly visible, close to bicycle facilities, co-located with other transportation connections, and/or close to local destinations like parks, commercial districts or other major destinations that attract large numbers of Bay Area residents. Bike share systems thrive when stations are placed close to one another, typically no more than a quarter mile or a five-minute walk apart. Specific locations are chosen through a process that couples feedback from the station suggestion portal with extensive public consultation in neighborhoods where the expansion is expected to take place, along with a technical assessment of site suitability.
See specific proposed station locations and learn more about how to get involved: www.bayareabikeshare.com/expansion.
Remaining Phase 3 East Bay Workshop Schedule:
West Oakland Bike Share Expansion Workshop
With TransForm and the City of Oakland
Saturday, October 22, 2016
18th Street at Adeline Street, Oakland
About Bay Area Bike Share, operated by Motivate
Bay Area Bike Share is a quick, convenient and affordable way to travel around the Bay Area. Bike share allows anyone to rent a bike from publicly available stations and take a point-to-point trip anywhere in the network. Users can purchase a membership for the day or the year, which includes unlimited trips of up to 30 minutes for the duration of the membership.
The expanded system will be sponsored by Ford and renamed Ford GoBike, growing from 700 to 7,000 bikes by the end of 2018, and expanding into the East Bay. Bay Area Bike Share is operated by Motivate, a global leader in bike share. Motivate manages all of the largest bike share systems in the United States and many of the largest systems in the world, including Citi Bike (New York and Jersey City), Divvy (Chicago), CoGo Bike Share (Columbus, OH), Capital Bike Share (Washington, D.C., Arlington and Alexandria, VA, and Montgomery County, MD), Hubway (Boston, Somerville, Cambridge and Brookline, MA), Pronto (Seattle), BIKETOWN (Portland, OR), Bike Chattanooga (TN), Bike Share Toronto, and Melbourne Bike Share in Australia. Learn more about Bay Area Bike Share at bayareabikeshare.com.
About the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC)
MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, go to mtc.ca.gov.