Ford GoBike East Bay Bike Share finally set to rollout on Tuesday

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A process that began in 2014 is finally set to go live on Tuesday, July 11th when the East Bay Bike Share Ford GoBikes will officially go online.

Festivities will kick off at Latham Square in Downtown Oakland at 10 a.m with Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin and Emeryville Mayor Scott Donahue. Participants will then ride to Emeryville and hold a ribbon-cutting event at the station in front of Town Hall at about 12:30 p.m.

The station in front of City Hall was installed by crews on July 6th (Photo: Mauvis Ledford).

The initial phase of Emeryville stations are clustered around the 40th street commute corridor and focused on serving riders to/from BART. These “Phase I” stations include City Hall (Park Ave at Hollis), Horton at 40th and Adeline at 40th.

The Phase II and III rollouts will add seven additional stations and are scheduled to be added later this summer. With the completion of all three phases, Emeryville will have 110 bikes serving our city. The entire East Bay “core” of Oakland, Berkeley and Emeryville will total 1500 bikes.

Phase II & III rollouts will expand northward with stations near Bay Street, Amtrak and EmeryTech.

Not Everyone Happy

Not everyone is happy about the roll out as to be expected. There were a few outliers that mourned the loss of precious parking spots in downtown areas (each station takes up about three spots).

In addition, bike rental companies that cater to tourists have expressed fear that this will “kill their industry”. Ford GoBike’s $9.95 day pass model would make competing with this price difficult especially since the operator is not being charged for the space needed for the stations. Bike rental companies argue that this “public subsidy” gives them an unfair economic advantage.

Bike Share operator Motivate notes its model is to serve ‘last mile’ commuters by providing transit hub and across town transportation options.

“I’m not going to let [Motivate] do to our mom-and-pop businesses what Uber did to the taxi industry,” said Supervisor Aaron Peskin in this SF Examiner article. Peskin’s district includes Fisherman’s Wharf where bike rentals for riding across the Golden Gate Bridge are a common tourist attraction.

Emeryville, despite having five hotels packed into our 1.2 square miles, does not currently have a bike rental shop (much less a bike store). Tammy Powers of A Tran’s Bay Bike Shop on Treasure Island has expressed interest in opening one on our side of the Bay Bridge.

Full rollout to include 7,000 bikes

By Labor Day, Ford GoBike is expected to offer a total of 3,500 bicycles at 332 stations. When fully installed next year, the program will boast 7,000 bikes at 546 stations spanning San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Berkeley and our city. Motivate notes this expansion, partially because of corporate sponsorship, does not come at the expense of taxpayers.

When complete, the program will be the second largest bike share network in the United States. The goal of the program, initiated by the MTC, is to improve regional transportation options, quality of life, health and affordability.

The Ford GoBike is offering flexible options to accommodate various types of users:

  • Annual Membership: $149/year (Save $25 through July 31)
  • Day Pass: $9.99
  • Single Ride (non-member): $3 per trip

Sign up at FordGoBike.com →

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Rob Arias

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who lived in Emeryville from 2003 to 2021. Rob founded The E'ville Eye in 2011 after being robbed at gunpoint and lamenting the lack of local news coverage. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.

1 Comment

  1. And if you qualify for one of several low-income programs (like Calfresh or PG&E CARE), you can join for $5 for the first year. Five dollars total!

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