Bike-Share Update: Ford GoBike Hits Oakland Milestone

With the addition of two bike-share stations in Jack London Square, Ford GoBike's Oakland system is all but complete

One of two bike-share stations installed in Jack London Square yesterday. Pot hole courtesy of the City of Oakland. All photos Streetsblog/Rudick unless noted.
One of two bike-share stations installed in Jack London Square yesterday. Pot hole courtesy of the City of Oakland. All photos Streetsblog/Rudick unless noted.

Until yesterday, there was a big gap in Oakland’s bike-share system–there was no place to grab a Ford GoBike near the ferry landing, or the Amtrak station, or anywhere else in Jack London Square.

But that was resolved with the unveiling of bike-share stations at Embarcadero West St and Clay Street, just across from the ferry, and 2nd and Webster, near Bicycle Coffee and two blocks from Amtrak. “I’m going to take a GoBike to meetings in downtown,” said Robert Prinz, Education Director for Bike East Bay (their office is around the corner from the Embarcadero bike-share station).

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Jean Walsh of Motivate, operator of Ford GoBike, with Susie Hufstader and Robert Prinz of Bike East Bay, at the launch.

Prinz, of course, owns his own bike. But if share bike stations are available so close to the office and to his destination, why not reduce the wear and tear on one’s trusty steed? That reasoning was reinforced by a giant, water-filled pothole right next to the bike station, seen in the lead photo. “I reported the pothole. Now I can start the timer to see how long it takes to get fixed,” said Prinz.

Meanwhile, get a flat or break a spoke on a GoBike and one just re-docks it and takes another one.

Kenneth Ibrahim, who was investigating the bike-share station at 2nd and Webster, is also a bike owner who still uses share bikes. Or rather, he was a bike owner–“I had two bikes stolen from my apartment’s garage,” he said, despite the fact that they were well-locked. He said he has security camera footage of a man in a motorcycle helmet cutting the locks with a power tool. That was enough to get him into bike sharing rather than buying new bikes over and over.

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The Embarcadero station is well placed to plant the idea in the heads of passing train passengers to use a bike for their last mile or two

It was just last July that Ford GoBikes launched in the East Bay, rolling out in Oakland, Emeryville, and Berkeley. They are reporting 775,000 total trips throughout the Bay Area since the region-wide launch started in June of 2017, with more and more rides every month.

They’re also answering the competition (e.g.: JUMP bikes) by preparing to roll out 250 electric-assist bikes in San Francisco.

GoBike staffers explained there are two more stations planned in Oakland, one at Market and 45th, a little less than a mile from MacArthur BART, and another at Alcatraz and Shattuck, not far from Ashby BART. However, the opening of the Jack London stations helps close a bike-share hole between transit connections. GoBike said they are currently navigating some bureaucracy, but they hope to eventually move the Webster Street station right onto the Amtrak plaza to make their use as a last-mile solution even easier.

The Webster Street station, by Bicycle Coffee, was still awaiting its full complement of bike.
The Webster Street station, near Bicycle Coffee, was still awaiting its full complement of bikes. This station may eventually be moved to the Amtrak plaza a couple of blocks away.

Meanwhile, some people still seem to hate the new bikes–and anti-bike psychopathy has reached a new low–with reports that someone disabled the brakes on Ford GoBikes in Rockridge.

People say bike-share is for the dogs? Photo: Annie Hall
Some say bike-share is for the dogs. Photo: Annie Hall

 

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A "Jump" Electric Dockless Share Bike. Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick

SFMTA Requires Permit for Dockless Bike Share

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The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) has published a permit application for so-called “dockless” bike-share companies. These are companies that offer rental bikes based on smart-phone and GPS technology–unlike the official, Bay Area Bike Share/Ford GoBike system, they don’t require fixed docking locations where users have to pick them up and drop them off. […]