Ford’s commitment to work with cities to improve transportation with more accessible, affordable and sustainable mobility services takes a big leap forward with the expansion of the San Francisco Bay Area’s bike-share program. In collaboration with Motivate, the global leader in bike-share technology, Ford GoBike begins rolling out on city streets on June 28th.
Despite the area’s infamous hills, bicycles are the fastest-growing mode of transportation there, with usage surging 184 percent between 2006 and 2015, according to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. In fact, the number of people in the city commuting to work on bikes nearly doubled, according to U.S. Census Bureau. It’s not hard to imagine why – bikes are a fun way to get around while getting a little exercise, too.
“At Ford, we understand it takes working together with cities to address their unique set of transportation challenges to help reduce congestion,” said John Kwant, vice president, City Solutions, Ford Smart Mobility. “Ford GoBike represents a strong collaboration between Motivate and the communities in the Bay Area, as all parties reinforce their commitment to help the city thrive with more sustainable mobility options like Ford GoBike.”
In September, Ford announced its commitment to develop public-private partnerships with cities around the world to combat the growing strain on transportation infrastructure as populations increase. Ford created City Solutions, a team dedicated to working with cities to help address traffic congestion issues and help people move more easily.
Along with bikes and other transportation options such as the crowd-sourced shuttle service Chariot, Ford is expanding the types of solutions it offers to make it easier for residents and visitors to get around the city.
Ford and Motivate began working with local officials, community groups, civic associations and others to determine GoBike specifications and station locations for the Bay Area. 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.
By the end of this summer there will be 3,500 of these bikes available throughout San Francisco, East Bay and San Jose – and by the end of next year the region will have 546 stations and 7,000 bikes, making Ford GoBike the nation’s second-largest bike-share program.
Want to ride our bicycle? Here’s how
Finding and renting a GoBike is easy. Become a member by registering at Ford GoBike.com or simply walk up to a station and rent a bike. And, if smartphone apps are your thing, there are a couple of other options.
FordPass™ users can find a GoBike via the FordPass app, which serves as Ford’s platform for future mobility solutions. Already, FordPass allows people to reserve and pay for parking in select cities so they don’t need to waste time searching for a place to park. They can also lock, unlock and start a vehicle equipped with SYNC® Connect through a tap on their smartphone.
Now, the 650,000 FordPass members in the United States will see Ford GoBike as an option in the app when they are in the Bay Area since the feature is location-based and pops up on the phone’s screen making it easy to find and rent a bike.
If you plan to use GoBike frequently – say, you’re looking to commute to work through the service – the launch of a dedicated Ford GoBike app will enable riders to find the nearest bike and docking station, purchase passes and save their favorite stations. The app will also send notifications about your rides. A timer keeps track of the time for your current ride to ensure you stay within your rental period, and provides Ford GoBike members with stats such as number of miles ridden on a trip.