The first phase of the one-year pilot of the e-bikes will see 250 of Ford’s Go Plus e-bikes being added to the Bay Area Bike Share program, giving riders a premium option to help them cope with the notoriously hilly landscape in the Bay area.
I happened to be in San Francisco for a conference when the bike sharing program first launched in August of 2013 and found it to be extremely functional from day one, even with simple mechanical bikes. E-bikes would extend the functionality of the system further and enable more riders to make use of the system, regardless of their physical condition.
The new e-bikes are integrated into the existing app and differentiated with a new lightning bolt logo on each bike station when e-bikes are available. Docking and undocking the bikes works much like human-powered bikes that users of the system have grown accustomed to.
“In many ways, e-Bikes are ideal for bikeshare programs because they make local, short-distance cycling easier for people,” said Vish Palekar, CEO of GenZe. “Our e-Bikes can go anywhere a conventional bicycle can go, including shared lanes and cycling paths – allowing riders to commute greater distances with no traffic and zero emissions. We’re excited to be a part of this innovative bikeshare initiative, and our partnership with Motivate.”
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) believes the e-bikes will extend the functionality of the existing bike share program to allow more people to do more trips with the system.
“E-Bikes will give Bay Area residents and visitors one more option when traveling around San Francisco, which will help to make San Francisco more livable and reduce congestion and household transportation costs. We look forward to the expansion of the Ford GoBike e-Bike pilot to the other Ford GoBike cities,” said Alix Bockleman, deputy executive director for policy at the MTC.
What’s great about the system is that it’s affordable for a single trip ($2), a single day ($10), or for regular commuters through a monthly membership ($15/mo). There’s even an annual plan that’s cheaper at $149. Altogether, these tiers give those considering biking for transportation a handful of low-cost options.
If you live in the Bay Area, find a Ford Go Plus near you. Otherwise, stay tuned for more cities being added to the program.