Archive for the ‘bikes’ Category

FordGoBike Goes Electric: Ford Motor Company’s GoBike “Bikeshare” Rental Scheme to Expand with Battery-Assist Bicycles in April 2018

Monday, January 8th, 2018

Pretty soon it won’t be so hard to pedal up our 48 hills on a heavy, clunky GoBike rental

See all the deets in this just-released press release:

 “Motivate will launch a pilot program adding 250 Ford GoBike-branded GenZe electric bicycles to its bikeshare fleet in San Francisco, beginning April 2018. (Photo: Business Wire)

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Motivate International, the operator of the Bay Area’s regional bike share system, announced today it will add e-Bikes to its fleet, beginning with 250 e-Bikes in San Francisco this April. The pedal-assist e-Bikes, produced by Silicon Valley-based GenZe, will help riders by boosting their natural pedal power, so they can get up hills more easily and ride for longer distances. This new offering will integrate seamlessly with the Ford GoBike network and add a safe, reliable and affordable shared mobility option to the city.

“We believe e-Bikes will be a game-changer for the San Francisco bikeshare experience, vastly improving accessibility and rideability. All kinds of riders, no matter their fitness or riding level, will be able to zoom up hills and zip around the city.”

Tweet this

“Our shared e-Bike is the newest product in our pipeline of innovative, sustainable mobility solutions,” said Jay Walder, CEO of Motivate. “We believe e-Bikes will be a game-changer for the San Francisco bikeshare experience, vastly improving accessibility and rideability. All kinds of riders, no matter their fitness or riding level, will be able to zoom up hills and zip around the city.”

“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 Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the regional governmental agency that partners with Motivate to bring bike sharing to the Bay Area. MTC also manages the Bay Area’s Clipper® card, which can now be used to unlock Ford GoBike.

“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.”

Riders can locate e-Bikes using the Ford GoBike app, rent them from any station where they are available using their Clipper card or smart phone, and park them at any station in San Francisco. For a limited time, Ford GoBike members and riders purchasing a day pass or single-trip fare will be able to ride an e-Bike at no extra cost. Bike Share for All members (low-income residents who become Ford GoBike annual members at the greatly discounted rate of $5 for their initial year) will always be able to use e-Bikes at no extra cost throughout the pilot, for rides of up to 60 minutes.

The custom e-Bikes were developed through a partnership with GenZe, a leading developer of zero-emissions, two-wheel electric vehicles. To announce the pilot program, the e-Bikes will be displayed at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas as a part of the tech show’s “Smart Cities” exhibit. The e-Bike’s maximum speed is 18 mph. It features a 345 Wh Li-ion battery and a user interface panel that lets riders know their speed and battery charge level.

By adding e-Bikes on a 12-month pilot basis, Motivate will be able to gather community feedback and work with its city partners to evaluate the results of the program before looking to add e-Bikes permanently to the Ford GoBike system.

Since launching in June, the Ford GoBike system has become an integral part of the Bay Area’s transportation network. With 262 stations and 2,600+ bikes on the ground across San Francisco, San Jose, Berkeley, Oakland and Emeryville, the system has generated more than half a million rides since launch in June of 2017. When completed in 2018, the 7,000-bike, 546-station Ford GoBike network will be the second-largest bike share system in North America, while setting new national standards in density, convenience and socio-economic equity.

About Motivate

Motivate, the global leader in bike share, operates tens of thousands of bikes across four continents. Led by an executive team with deep experience at the highest levels of public transportation and technology, the company is relentlessly focused on innovation and has a proven and sustainable business model to manage complex operations and logistics. A vertically integrated company, Motivate controls the full technology stack, enabling us to lead on the design and deployment of the next generation of bike share technology. Motivate works in close partnership with government officials to implement bike share systems that meet the unique needs of the cities in which we operate. Motivate systems, including Citi Bike in New York, Divvy in Chicago, Capital Bikeshare in the D.C. area, Hubway in the Boston area, BIKETOWN in Portland and Ford GoBike in the San Francisco Bay Area, are responsible for over 80 percent of bike share trips taken annually. To learn more please visit the Motivate newsroom at https://www.motivateco.com/news.

About the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC)

MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, go to http://mtc.ca.gov.

About GenZe

GenZe has a simple motto: “Two Wheels. One Planet. Zero Emissions.” GenZe is committed to providing easily-accessible personal transportation through e-Bikes and e-Scooters loaded with smart, connected technology and powered by sustainable, zero-emissions electric energy.

GenZe manufactures and assembles in Ann Arbor, Michigan with corporate headquarters in Silicon Valley. GenZe is a division of the globally-expanding $19 billion Mahindra Group, which focuses on enabling people to rise through new and better solutions to tomorrow’s challenges. The Mahindra Group is a worldwide leader in aerospace, automotive, utility vehicles, tractors, motorcycles, clean energy, and more. For more information on GenZe, visit www.genze.com.”

Does This Existing Bike Rental Business on City Land Compete with This Other Bike Rental Business Also on City Land?

Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

I think the Ford people (with the new blue FordGoBike rentals in the background) would say no and the legacy mom & pops (with regular blue rental bikes in the foreground) would say yes yes yes:

7J7C3891 copy

Now, you’d think that if legacy bike rental outfits had cared about this, they would have gotten noncompete agreements in their contracts – you know within a certain number of feet, SFGov wouldn’t rent out to competing bike rental businesses. Oh that’s right, they did get noncompete agreements.

And yet, look at the photo above. So all this kind of stuff plus the recent rise of new-school dockless “bikeshare” has led to legal conflicts, burbling ‘neath the surface even right now.

And this comes after local authoritahs have spent EIGHT FIGURES on establishing (now) old-school docked “bikeshare.”

Oh well.

So look forward to reports of at least a partial resolution of these disputes in 2018. (Of course, everybody would admit that there’s at least some overlap in these business models, the question is how much.)

And in the meantime, the Ford people push onward, trying to go nearer to the Fish Wharf (which is a totally obvious place for a bike rental biz to be) and inside the Heart of the Mission (betwixt Hipster Mission and SFGH) and westward, ever westward, maybe even past Masonic – of course doing all these things by now was already baked into the cake. but you know, for the Ford people, mo $ = mo problems, in 2017 anyway.

And speaking of whom, maybe some of them, those making just $16.13 an hour, barely above minimum, will get a raise in 2018. (This is considered “living wages” by some (some people living outside of Frisco,  of course) so that’s what the Ford PR ppl crow about, but actually, $16.13 aint a living wage in SF, and also actually, this would be considered a living wage by those out-of-state pencil pushers only for certain people, those without dependents, for example.)

Anyway, that’s the update. I’ll tell you, this Gen X’er was surprised to see these govt-sanctioned bike rental outfits cattywampus across the street from each other the other day, hence this post.

ENDOFLINE

The Brand-New Traffic Circles of Euclid Avenue – Going in Right Now – Hey, How Come the SFMTA No Longer Allows Neighbors to Vote on These “Improvements?”

Friday, December 15th, 2017

Well, last part first. Our SFMTA used to allow residents living near the sites of proposed traffic circles to have a little mini-election. The problem with that was that the SFMTA got its ass handed to it when all the “trial” circles it had just installed on Page and Waller got voted down, by like a three to one ratio, in five separate votes.

Guess what, the SFMTA Project Manager, the Lord of these rings, whose job it was to push this unwanted project through, was “sad” due to this result.

Anyway, flash forward to 2017 and now some neighbors in Jordan Park are finally just encountering construction of these ring things, and man are they pissed. They’re calling 311 to register their vote (in a different, less effective way).

Here it is, as laid out in October 2017:

Capturjkjkoiuh1 copy

And here’s how things look today:

7J7C4823 copy

Euclidian geometry:

7J7C4824 copy

7J7C4825 copy

7J7C4827 copy

I guess the idea these days is that residents are supposed to petition the SFMTA for changes in their area, but this looks like a so-called “area-wide” traffic clamming (I just can’t myself to use the actual Orwellian word that’s popular these days, you know the one for sometimes unpopular projects) project to me, as opposed to being a “block by block” project.

I don’t get it man.

But I’ll let the SFMTA explain, as seen live on their site today. What do you make of this, Gentle Reader?

WHY IS TRAFFIC CALMING ONLY IMPLEMENTED NOW ON A BLOCK-BY-BLOCK BASIS?

Previously, the SFMTA used to consider traffic calming from an “area-wide” perspective. The area-wide process was developed as a way to look at multiple locations in the same neighborhood together, to consider traffic calming from a community perspective. The boundaries of area-wide projects were drawn to incorporate all residential streets between arterials, major collectors, and/or commercial streets. However, the process was viewed by SFTMA staff and residents as being time-consuming and resulting in unpredictable construction timelines. Often times, the more complex and expensive measures recommended through an area-wide planning process were not constructed, and the long timeline often resulted in changing community priorities that weren’t reflected in the area-wide traffic calming plan. Finally, due to the fact that the area-wide approach to traffic calming tended to involve only the most dedicated members of a community, many believed that the area-wide process did not necessarily reflect the views and concerns of all neighbors.

A resident-driven, block-by-block approach to traffic calming that relies on a data-driven approach ensures that resources are allocated to those streets in which demonstrated speeding and traffic-related concerns exist, and where there is broad resident acceptance for traffic calming.”

So I really don’t get what the SFMTA is saying here, what with the passive voice and the lack of examples given. What kind of people are “the most dedicated members of a community?” Is that an insult? A compliment? IDK.

Hey, are they going to take out some of the stop signs on Euclid? IDK.*

Anyway, there you have it.

*That was the problem with the circles on Page, for example – the taking out the stops signs part. You could hear a car coming from a block away. As a pedestrian, it was paralyzing, ’cause you didn’t know what the driver would do. Like would the driver do a California stop and proceed cautiously, or simply treat the circle like a chicane and come through at 25 MPH?** So I’d just wait until I couldn’t hear any cars coming from a block away in both directions and only then cross over Page. I much prefered the regular four way stops. (And I think the whole idea was so that bike riders wouldn’t have to worry about getting tickets for blowing stop signs.)

**Oh, I just came across this, in the less ideological part of the Streetsblog, you know, in the Comments section: “As a pedestrian, the Page/Waller circles were ‘unsuccessful’ because I defacto had to yield to cars. As a car driver, the things were frickin great because I didn’t have to stop and could blast through at 25MPH. /s Are you actually out-and-about in this city, or are you just reading about it in Dutch traffic manuals?

New Paint for “The Wiggle” – It Takes a Village

Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

A huge number of workers and white trucks were all about the upper Lower Haight area today

This could be a sign that all the tinkering of the past few years is done:

7J7C4702 copy

We’ll see:

7J7C4709 copy

Romantic Intersection Selfie

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

The best I can figure:

7J7C3188 copy

The Most People I’ve Ever Seen on Just One “Bicycle” in Frisco – A Party on Wheels

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

Later on, I saw that they had these rides at work – “meeting bikes” or something they were called, like you could call a meeting for up to seven people and then ride around whilst conducting bidness. But I never saw a bike meeting IRL.

And actually, I haven’t seen this ride too much since 2009 either:

IMG_0707

Maintenance is a bear, I understand…

Test Riding the New and “Improved” Masonic Boulevard – It’s Not Going to be a Night-and-Day Difference, Safetywise

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

Here you go, heading south, in the downhill direction – you’ve got your new median on the left, your downsized two lanes of traffic, your removed bus stops (so MUNI will just stop in traffic in future), your (slightly) raised cycle track and then your preexisting houses and driveways on the right:

7J7C2836 copy

And here’s your reverse angle:

7J7C2837 copy

So this isn’t much of a difference, safetywise, right?

What else, oh, for the next year or two of construction, we’ll continue to see this kind of half-assed engineering – this is a wheelchair ramp, of sorts:

7J7C2831 copy

Hey, why would bike riders even want to get onto the sidewalks of Masonic? Well, you should try it sometime, as this person ahead of me wisely was doing. (And boy, if you threw in heavy rain and a few epically drunk drivers, the likes of which killed a pedestrian and a bike rider on this stretch of Masonic the past decade or so, well that’d make the sidewalk even more appealing.)

7J7C2843 copy

Those are USF trees you can see on the right in the above photo. This used to be the narrowest sidewalk of Masonic north of Fell, but as you can see it’s quite wide now.

But look, turnabout is fair play, as peds seems to enjoy walking in the new bike path. That’s a bus stop there on the left, complete with a cut out to please Area Residents:

7J7C2849 copy

There are costs and benefits to these changes, of course. It’s too bad that our SFMTA didn’t even try to document them…

FordGoBike Lament: “Ford makes these crappy Go bikes that are worth nothing but they are going to charge me $1200 if I cannot return it.”

Monday, November 20th, 2017

One of our Ford Go Bikes/
Is missing/
Tonight

All the deets:

Capturefgdfgfff

This person might be new in America, but nevertheless sees this sitch with clarity:

“Stolen Ford Go-BIKE #12282 – $100 (alamo square / nopa)
Hello!
Ford makes these crappy Go bikes that are worth nothing but they are going to charge me 1200$ if I cannot return it. Someone stole it from the station I was at at the bottom of McAllister @ Laguna intersection.
I am offering a 100$ reward if found this week! Thanks!
The bike code on the side is #12282″

I wonder what it costs to make a GoBike. It’s certainly not worth $1200, that’s for sure. In fact, a sub-$100 ride from WalMart, a so-called Bike Shaped Object, is a better bike, IMO. Like, it would have actual tried and true gears, like 21 or more for ease of going uphill. And it would therefore have superior gearing range. And it would be lighter. And you wouldn’t have to pay to use it. And you wouldn’t have to worry having to return it someplace, gee the clock is ticking.*

And you wouldn’t have to worry about getting it stolen and being on the hook for $1200.

Oh well.

*Your WalMart tires will wear out quicker – the puncture-resistant Schwalbes on Ford’s GoBikes are superior to anything you’d get from Wally. (And they could be the #1 reason why ppl steal FordGoBikes.)

 

A Pyrrhic Victory on Ashbury: This Bicycle Chain Worked and Yet It Didn’t Work

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

This ride is mostly still here, but I can understand why it was abandoned by its owner:

7J7C2371 copy

Look Who’s Driving Down the Bike Lanes of Polk Street Now: That’s Right, It’s SFMTA Employees at the End of Their Shifts – Mercy Me, We Got Ourselves a CONVOY

Monday, November 13th, 2017

I still haven’t figured out how the SFMTA wants drivers to travel south from your greater Pacific Heights, Cathedral Hill, 101 Corridor, Polk Gulch, TenderNob, Twitterloin area. My latest theory is Hyde through the Tenderloin, but what I know is that Gough, Van Ness, and Polk ARE NOT the way to go.

And guess who else knows this, our SFMTA. See?

7J7C2132 copy

These PCO’s aren’t handing out tickets, they’re repositioning after handing out tickets. So to get around, they simply drive their gas-powered Cushmans south on the new green bike lane through Polk Gulch, block after block:

7J7C2130 copy

That’s your SFMTA