Ford’s bike share investment bears fruit with Bay Area launch

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Ford’s investment in bike share giant Motivate is starting to bear fruit, with the automotive business today announcing the launch of a GoBike scheme for the Bay Area. When complete, the scheme will be the second largest in the U.S.

Starting today, GoBike becomes the areas largest bike share program, offering 546 stations decked out with 7,000 bikes accessible via the FordPass app.

September’s announcement of Ford’s investment in Motivate came in tandem with the news that the auto giant would create a “Smart Mobility” company. Noting that people are looking toward alternate forms of transport across the U.S., the firm’s launch serves San Francisco, San Jose and East Bay, tapping into a 184% growth in cycling between 2006 and 2015.

“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.”

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.

The app to access the bikes is now downloadable at fordgobike.com.

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