Posts Tagged ‘babs’

Burn: Locally-Owned Blazing Saddles Bike Rental vs. The New Yawk-Based Competition: “$32 per Day vs. $150 per Day”

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

Here it is:

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Of course, Ford Motor Company paid to have these old BABS rides replaced with Ford-branded rolling advertisements, so this hit piece is outdated now. But the Ford / Motivate International people DID try to sneak in a three-hour rental scheme just recently. So yes, these rental bikes are all competitors in a way.

Tourists get confused by terms like “DayPass” and try to ride these hefty bikes all day for “just $10.”

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Anyway, it’s hard to make it across the GGB without encountering “bikeshare” rental bikes competing with legacy rental bike businesses

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I think legacy bike rental businesses will still be around in 2025, but I don’t know what will happen with “bike share” after the Ford Motor Company contract runs out…

These Poor Women Have NO IDEA Their FORD GOBIKE Joyride to Sausalito Will Cost Them MORE THAN $100

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

Ford GoBike: The Bay Area’s bike share program, named for Henry Ford.

Motivate International, formerly Alta Bicycle Share, famous for labor issues.

Anti-competitive agreement with SFGov.

Burdensome SFMTA STATIONLESS BIKESHARE PROGRAM PERMIT APPLICATION.

Clumsy efforts in the Mission District, suspicion over Ford Motor Company’s FordPass

This is so sad. Here’s what tourists see when they’re thinking about renting a FORD-branded rental bike in Frisco:

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So, one trip is $3 and you can rent a bike for all day for just $10. Of course there’s more in there, stuff about how you have to check your bike back in within 30 minutes or you get hit with late fees, but the tourists don’t see that part.

How do I know this?

  1. Well, check Yelp. That litany is for the service what ended last month, the not-much-used and taxpayer-funded Bay Area Bike Share, but the successor service, the taxpayer and Ford Marketing-funded Ford GoBike joint, gets the same complaints. See below.
  2. Also I’ve asked people when I’ve seen them in / going to Sausalito. A man in one group said that they were paying $10 per 24 hours and a woman in this pair, as seen on the Golden Gate Bridge, said they were getting their rentals for “$9 for the whole day.”

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But the real price for pedaling through Frisco,* over the bridge to Sausalito in Marin County and back again is $16 for the first hour and then $12 an hour after that. So if your trip takes five hours, which is totally possible, then you’re paying $64 per bike. Times two is $128. Minus the $20 they already knew about leaves us with $108 MORE THAN EXPECTED.

Of course less time = less money and more time, as you can read about on Yelp = more money.

Hey, are the people at Ford Motor Company, Motivate International, and/or SFMTA/SFGov aware of this issue?

YEP.

Now, do they give a care?

NOPE, apparently not.

Oh well. So if your goal is to market Ford Motor Company to youth and to get “more butts in bikes,” then having newcomers pedal two-wheeled advertising vehicles where other ads aren’t allowed (like on the GGB) is great. You’d want ALL of Frisco’s tourists to make the same mistake.

Now, isn’t it ironic, don’tcha think, that our SFMTA insists (in one line item on a grocery list longer than your arm) that any competitors to FORD MOTOR COMPANY GOBIKE properly make clear to users how much they have to pay, but the existing government-approved, government-funded (IDK, monopoly? or) entity isn’t doing that at all currently, and hasn’t done for the past few years as well?

PROPOSALS:

  1. Hey, why not change GoBike’s misleading language to something that tourists, you know, some of whom don’t have the best handle on English, can understand, like NON-misleading language?
  2. Hey, why not have a text message sent to users telling them that their time is up when their time is up and then say, OK, it’s $12 per hour starting now?

And I’ll tell you, I don’t like the phrase THREE DAY PASS that FoMoCo uses for its $20 option either, and here’s why. If Sarge gave Gomer Pyle…

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… a three-day pass to go off-base, would he have to come back to base every half-hour? I think not, Gentle Reader. I think not.

Anyway, that’s what I ponder when I see all those GB’s on the GGB.

Ah, the Yelp:

“I like the Bikes but the renting cost of the Bikes are very  expensive. There are 3 options to rent the bikes: Short-term pass 3 dollars for 30 minutes, the day pass $9.95, and 3 day pass $19.95. I picked 2 Bikes for the day pass for $9.95 each. I thought that was good price for a day and only rode 2 hours and 15 minutes and returned the Bikes. However, they charge me $73 that is super expensive. The tricky part is the Bikes only allowed for 30 minutes if u want to bike more than 30 minutes, you will pay $3 for extra 15 minutes. That is why I end up paying more than $70 2 Bikes for two hours.”

“FRAUD ALERT! I was so excited when I heard about this service that I went right to their website to sign up. However, what they state in bold print about costs and ride time on their website is not what you agree to in the fine print of your membership agreement. Coupled with the fact that a company that is engaging in shady (i.e. illegal) activities from the gate, now has your credit card number, a link to your specific clipper card, and an app on your phone all before you ever even get on a bike is, in my opinion–A BIG RED FLAG. READ THOSE ENDLESS PAGES SCROLLING DOWN YOUR SCREEN BEFORE YOU CHECK THE “AGREE”  BOX.”

“I’m never using this service again. The digital display on the payment machine said the one day pass was $9, but I paid $49 for a bike for three and a half hours. I could buy a bike with $49. It’s ridiculously expensive. Charging the extra fee over $9 seems to be a scam.They should change the marketing from one day pass to 30 MINUTES PASS!! $9 for the pass is right up to 30 minutes, but from the moment over 30 minutes, you have to pay the extra fee $7 per 30 minutes. Keep in mind. I wish other people would never go through the same situation as me. This service is the worst one I’ve ever gotten in SF.”

Yours, in struggle.

*That’s a long way already on these hefty bikes as the stations closest to the Golden Gate Bridge are FAR AWAY, currently.

[UPDATE: Oh, it used to be that Motivate International would offer people who misunderstood the pricing structure a 50% refund, but now I see that 100% seems to be the new standard.

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This is sort of funny since this has been a Known Issue for years (plural). END UPDATE]

Here’s How Ford Motor Company’s GoBike Bicycle Rental Scheme Moves Its Bikes Around: A BIG TRICYCLE

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

Here’s the scene from the E’ville Eye News:

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At first I thought, wow, they must be using their burliest worker to push this trike trailer around, but then I saw the battery holder(?) beneath, for the electric assist, one assumes.

This is a better look than GoBike predecessor Bay Area Bike Share, which was known for its Mercedes trucks what would park wherever, like in the slow lanes of Market, for example:

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Or like this, also double-parking on Market:

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Or like this, halfway on Market and halfway on the sidewalk – IDK if this is considered better behavior or not:

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And sometimes all the way on the sidewalk. Again, IDK if that’s considered “better” than simply double parking.

And let’s not forget about BABS supes – they could park in the slow lane of inbound Market as well, because, IDK:

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And then with the illegal turns off of Market, like making a awkward left turn going inbound Market onto Sansome. Again, I don’t see how that could have been legal yet it was routine.

(Hey, QUESTION: Does Michigan-based FoMoCo think that $16.13 per hour really is at or above “living wages” in the bay area in places like Frisco, E-Ville, Oaktown, Berzerkeley, etc? Mmmm…)

Anyway, like I said, a bike trailer is a better look for Ford’s marketing division than a big truck…

It’s Happening Already: NUMEROUS Ford Motor Company GOBIKE Bicycle Rentals Being Ridden to MARIN COUNTY, and Back

Friday, July 7th, 2017

This was the fear of local bike rental companies when they heard that Michigan-based Ford Motor Company and New Yawk-based Motivate International were teaming up with SFGov to spend mid-eight figures(!) to market “FORD” around Frisco.

And then somebody(ies) pulled this switcheroo what would’ve turned the “last mile” 30-minute maximum service of Bay Area Bike Share (BABS) into a three hour tour. A three hour tour, sponsored by FoMoCo.

But then things got reversed and so our tourists still need to fret about checking in within 30 minutes, or they face a financial penalty, a pretty severe one, actually, costing some tourists hundreds of dollars (even after getting the 50% discount what they’ll offer you if you complain enough, from Singapore, Bremen, Timbuktu, after seeing an unexpected charge on their Visa bill.)

No matter – here are some of the brand-new FORD bikes returning from Marin County…

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…heading towards Marin County…

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…and heading towards the Golden Gate Bridge or Fort Point or who knows, but even this dude is straying far away from the intended use zone, non?

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Anyway, I’ve got more shots iffin you want me to dig them up. But I haven’t seen anyone pushing them uphill, which would almost be mandatory for most tourists if they wanted to actually try to make it back to town without relying on a ferry boat.

And of course, this Comes At A Time when our local SFMTA just paid some dude $75 an hour (TCOE) to pen this FU letter to anyone else who would dare compete with our local SFGov-approved Ford Motor Company / Motivate short-term bike rental monopoly.

Do these tourists know how much they’re spending, or are they just confused? IDK.

Three-Hour “GoPass” from Ford Motor Company’s Expensive “GoBike” Bike Rental: Now You See It, Now You Don’t

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

Hey, remember Sunday? I do. Well this is how FoMoCo’s GoBike bike rental pricing webpage looked just two days ago:

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But this is how it looked a few hours later on Monday:

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See the difference?

Now it’s not my job to worry about how much money local bidness makes, but the existing home-grown bike rental companies of Frisco have a point when they recall how the focus of Bay Area Bike Share was going to be on the “last mile,” so the upshot was a 30-minute limit on each rental period with SEVERE penalties for taking a bike out all day, ’cause otherwise heavily government-subsidized BABS would be in direct competition.

Well, I guess Ford wanted to get something out of its $50 million investment so the three-hour GoPass was born.

But now it’s dead.

As you can see.

Of course GoPass would not have “killed” our local bike rental industry, despite what they might claim.

And I’ll tell you, it’s already hard enough for our tourists to go uphill on lightweight 21-speed rental bikes in Sausalito, thusly…

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…and thusly…

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…so imagine how much harder would it be or them to make the same trip on heavy, clunky, single-speed, bikeshare-style Ford GoBikes?

On It Goes…

Ford Motor Company Takes Over Bay Area Bike Share – Now Called GoBike – A Huge Price Increase –

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

Frisco’s unpopular, expensive, taxpayer-subsidized Bay Area Bike Share will soon be in the service of marketing for FoMoCo.

Here’s the pitch:

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So the big news is the yuge 70% price increase along with the extended 45-minute rental period.

IDK man, I see their giant Mercedes trucks illegally parked in various ways on Market, and I also see the same trucks making illegal turns off of the very same Market Street. We’ll see if Ford will change operations.

IDK man, SFgov could simply buy and give away for free bicycles to any and all Frisco residents for less money than what it’s already spent on BABS. I was thinking Ford could lower prices considering how important these bikes seem to be for their marketing efforts. I realize that bikeshare programs aren’t really meant for people who already ride bicycles, but just as a comparison.)

And wasn’t it Ford GoBike who led the charge against any kind of competition from China?  I think it was. The hated competitors were a gonna charge just 99 cents a ride. Oh well

The Toughest Job You’ll Never Love: Work for Ford / Bay Area Bike Share / Motivate for a Whopping $1 Above Minimum Wage

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

IDK, man. I still see more people sitting on locked up BABS bikes than people actually using them.

And how many millions have we spent on this program?

It’s making some people rich, but not its workers, not at, what, a nominal amount north of min wage?

Do you like bikes? Well, then why don’t we take all this money and simply give bikes away to residents? I mean, you know, as a mental exercise, something to think about. As things stand now, nobody really uses these rides ($9 minimum, ouch, so I’ve never even tried them, plus a nice $1200 charge on your credit card if you lose it, or in the event you have a hassle checking it back in and somebody steals it), but, somehow, this whole deal makes some people happy, and Ford (Motor Company) can get a Super Bowl ad snippet out of it, OK fine.

Anyway, have at it:

Bay Area Field Team Member (SOMA / south beach)
About Bay Area Bike Share
Bicycle sharing is a sustainable, healthy, and community-based transport option that enhances urban livability and mobility. Bay Area Motivate currently operates 700 bikes & 70 stations in the Bay Area with plans to expand the system — tenfold – with 7000 bikes by the end of 2018.

Overview of Position:
As a Field Team Member, you will play a fundamental role in Bay Area Motivate bike share operations. You will be responsible for maintaining the overall functionality and ride-ability of the Bay Area bike share system. Working under the primary guidance of the Operations Leadership Team, a Field Team Member will assist and support redistribution of bikes, maintain and repair all stations and related equipment, while supporting general bike share operations across the System.

TO APPLY: https://850.dayforcehcm.com/CandidatePortal/en-US/motivate/Posting/View/493

Primary Responsibilities and Essential Functions:
Redistribution
▪ Operate a large vehicle or bike train (large tricycle with cart) to redistribute bikes as required, based on real-time demand data
▪ Load/unload vehicles with bikes and dock/undock bikes at stations which requires repetitive motion and individual responsibility for lifting up to 50lbs
▪ Evaluate bike condition, document and record data regarding bikes and related equipment, and escalate if needed
▪ Communicate effectively and efficiently using verbal, written or typed communications with supervisors, managers and support related positions
▪ Partner and work collaboratively with Operations Leadership, fellow employees and related positions to assess, evaluate and determine inventory management and control
▪ Keep and maintain clean and presentable work areas, tools and equipment which may include, but is not limited to, company vehicles and work locations, at all times
▪ Perform bike valet duties including corralling and securing bikes, clearing stations, and helping customers

Station Maintenance, Appearance and Repair
▪ Complete station maintenance in a professional and timely manner consistent with all Bay Area Motivate (BAM) policies and procedures. Report any and all issues or concerns with Station performance to Deputy Operations Manager or designee.
▪ Ensure bike stations are operational which may require reboot of stations, replace station batteries, swap SD cards, and similar responsibilities as necessary
▪ Timely response to all station emergencies or identified issues, include tracking, recording and reporting all work orders

General Responsibilities
▪ Follow safe work practices and help create and maintain a safe work environment
▪ Follow any routes and assignments as delegated by dispatch and maintenance
▪ Communicate professionally and timely with all customers, management, vendors and employees
▪ Escalate issues as needed to Operations Management or designated Bay Area leader
▪ Work with all Motivate employees and team members to ensure timely and productive workflows
▪ Complete valet duties including corralling, securing and distributing bikes as needed
▪ Additional duties and responsibilities as determined by management.

Required Skills and Experience:
▪ Minimum 18 years of age or older.
▪ Valid Driver’s License and acceptable Motor Vehicle Record.
▪ Demonstrated success meeting and exceeding Bay Area Motivate performance expectations.
▪ Experience operating vehicles in congested city traffic.
▪ Knowledge of Bay Area geography and street layout.
▪ Proficiency with Microsoft Office and other technology as needed to perform the essential functions of the job
▪ Interpersonal skills — open to others’ ideas; patience and willingness to experiment and try new things while working collaboratively.
▪ Dependability and schedule adherence — ability and commitment to working all scheduled work hours. Bay Area Motivate work schedules may include, evenings, weekends and holidays.
▪ Ability to effectively and professionally communicate with management, co-workers, vendors and customers
▪ Ability to lift up to 50 pounds; stoop, bend, and stand for long periods of time.
▪ Willingness to work outdoors, year-round and in all weather conditions.

TO APPLY: https://850.dayforcehcm.com/CandidatePortal/en-US/motivate/Posting/View/493

The above description is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities, or qualifications associated with the job. From time to time, and related to the nature of work performed to accomplish Motivate’s Mission, employees may be required to perform duties outside of their normal responsibilities.

Motivate is proud to be an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and strongly encourages applications from women, minorities, protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. Motivate is a drug-free workplace.

We thank all applicants in advance for their interest in this position, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

This Type of Person is Why “Bay Area Bike Share” has a Very Low 1.9 Star Yelp Rating

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

Now you’d think Frisco’s tourists would love love love an area taxpayer and feepayer-subsidized bicycle rental service with stations all over touristed areas like Market Street.

But some don’t because they get confused about the confusing pricing scheme, and they think wow, $9 for 24 hours? Man, we’re going to ride on out to Ocean Beach, whoo hoo!

But then it turns out that your credit card gets charged like low three-figures, because you didn’t check in your bikes every 30 minutes.

These bikes, coming back inbound from the West Side, where there are no BABS stations, are overdue and on the clock. They have exceeded their 15-minute combat radius:

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And then our tourists rage against BABS the only way they know how – on the Yelp.

Read and learn.

And this is still going on, in 2017.

The “solution” to this issue is that you get an automatic 50% refund just for asking.

Not much of a solution.

Out of gas already, trying to come up from the Great Highway through Golden Gate Park on a $1200 (if you lose it, or don’t check it back in entirely properly, but that’s another story) very heavy, electric motor-free, single-speed bike, about seven miles from where it was checked oot, eh?

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Oh well…

Why is Frisco So Mad About the Idea of Bluegogo Offering 99-Cent Bike Rentals? Could It Have Something to do with This?

Friday, January 27th, 2017

So how many millions have we spent on this program, the one what’s Yelp-rated at less than 2 stars even though it’s heavily subsidized by John/Jane Q. Public?

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I mean, is this what you wanted, SFGov? Srsly, I see more people sitting on these rides when they’re locked up than actual customers riding them.

OTOH, I see that Bluegogo’s similar bikes are in private parking spaces, currently, anyway.

Hey, maybe this whole deal, plus the more recent deal with FoMoCo was a bad idea?

Just asking.

Seattle has just given up on its similar program, just saying.

Wouldn’t we be better off just buying Walmart bikes (for like $74 each, I’m srsly) and handing them out for free to SF citizens instead of getting involved with Ford, if the goal is to get more ppl on bikes?

Transit Not First: Bay Area Bike Share (aka “FORD GOBIKE”) Freely Double Parks on Market, Blocks MUNI Buses

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

Let’s see here, oh, still an abysmal 2 star rating from Yelp. The Ford GoBike / BABS people could easily fix this situation by changing the wording of their marketing, BUT they don’t feel like it, Man, obvs.

Anyway, they’re still double parking their Mercedes Benzes on Market, and sometimes that causes problems for MUNI buses, as here near Second Street.

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Illegal turns off of Market too – are the GoBike people allowed to do that? IDK. IDTS.

And oh yes, bikes aren’t transit, sry. You could pass a law that says that bicycles have something to do with transit, just as you could write a law what says cats are dogs for the purposes of a Leash Law, but that wouldn’t actually make cats dogs, right?

And here’s the defense of GoBike, seemingly written by an employee. I’m not saying an employee wrote this, but this is how an employee/owner might look at things, FBOW:

I am finding out that many people have given poor reviews because they thought they could pull a fast one and take off with one of the shared bicycles for a whole day for a measly $9. I’ve sometimes told tourists on the Golden Gate bridge that they should think of returning their bikes before they ruin themselves (they tell me I’m wrong, that they rented the bike for 24 hours…). There are dozens of perfectly decent stores around North Beach that will rent them a bike for $40. Bay Area Bikeshare is being penalized because folks choose not to read the price list (which is printed in large characters) and they are not familiar with how every bike sharing system in the world works.

But I don’t think you can try to “pull a fast one” without being aware that you’re doing it, I’m srsly.

Oh BABS, will you ever win?