Posts Tagged ‘bike-share’

The Economics of Ford Motor Company GoBike Rental Theft – And Who’s Been Charged $1200 for Stolen Rentals?

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

Man, a lot of Ford’s GoBike rentals have been stolen already, huh?

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(Sometimes you gotta wonder why somebody’d check out a bike rental only to push it around. That wasn’t a hill or anything. And this is going away from the nearest station.)

Anyway, wouldn’t you rather have a regular stolen bike instead of a heavy, high profile Ford Motor Company rental bike? I think most thieves would.

So, why do thieves steal GoBikes then? I think it’s for wheels, tires and tubes. These are kind of standard items, the tubes and the tires anyway:

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Usually when you see the remnants of a GoBike, the wheels are gone. Now, IDK how you’d repurpose the back wheel/hub combo, but these tires would pop right on to most mountain bikes, right?

(It’s surprising to me that these 7,000 bikes would have such standard sized tires/wheels.)

And how do thieves get a hold of these rides? Most likely when they are locked up at a station, as opposed to stealing them when they’re being rented out, else we probably would have heard of people complaining about being charged $1200 (that’s the highest in the world for these new-school short-term rental types bikes, BTW). No complaints ergo, thieves have a way to swipe these bikes when they’re locked up at stations.

Anyway, they are nice $55 tires. IMO, they are they reason so many GoBikes are getting stolen.

Old NISHIKI Mountain Bike from the 1980’s is the Un-FordGoBike: Old, Cheap, Light, Reliable, Sustainable, and NOT an Advertising Vehicle, At All

Monday, September 18th, 2017

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Old: Well, sure, just look at it. (Reminds me of the “MOTIV” “brand” bikes I bought for $199.99 at the South Airport Drive (which is,oddly, located north of SFO) Price Club (loaned it to a bro, told him how to lock it up in the Tenderloin, was ignored, so it got stolen) and at a Costco (road it for 13 weeks, then sold it at the end of summer, then came home). And it also reminds me of the Trek 8000 I bought for $560 (retail was $899 and similarly had a saddle what towered over the handle bars – 4 inches higher in altitude IIRC) that had “luxurious” LX shifters what were two generations newer than this Nishiki. In any event, this Nishiki is old.)

OTOH, Ford Motor Company’s GoBike rentals are new new new.

Cheap: Well, sure.  You could buy one  yourself for less than the $150 it’ll cost you just to get started or just one year with FORD.

OTOH, Ford Motor Company’s GoBike rentals will run you $1200 if you happen to lose one. (IDK if they’ve made people actually pay this amount, as the publicity would be highly negatory, good buddy.)

Light: Oh yes, quite.

OTOH, Ford Motor Company’s GoBike rentals are heavy metal, designed to be clunky. (On a lark, some roadies rented some GoBikes to race them across The Bridge and up Conzelman to the top of Hawk Hill. It was treated as a kind of a joke given the design of the Ford Motor rentals. (And even though this speed contest violated some clauses of FoMoCo’s detailed and lengthy agreements, some at Motivate, International promoted it on social media, at least for a while.))

Reliable: Well, sure, just look at it. It’s honest machinery what shows you how it works.

OTOH, Ford Motor Company’s GoBike rentals need a whole crew of workers what get paid just 15% more than the bare minimum wage. (Are they experts on the new-school rear hubs by now? I hope so.)

Sustainable: Well, sure. What’s stopping this Nishiki from going another 40 years on the mean Streets of San Francisco?

OTOH, Ford Motor Company’s GoBike rentals are mostly funded by something like $50 million worth of Ford Motor Company marketing money. Who’s to say that this K(ontract) will make it even the seven years specified? And that brings us to…

Not an Advertising Vehicle, At All. Well, sure, it says NISHIKI on it, but there’s nothing stopping you from taking it off – I mean that wouldn’t violate your Rental Terms or your Rental Agreement, etc. Right? So that’s part of the reason why Ford is paying to buy up parking spaces in Frisco – the advertising placement.

OTOH, Ford Motor Company’s GoBike rentals are Advertising Vehicles. That means that if the Ford Motor / Motivate International people happen to catch you on one of their rental bikes, you know, and then take a picture of you, or make a video of you, well, you’ve already signed your rights away to YOUR image. See what I mean? (Oh what’s that, you don’t care? All right, well I bet I could point out something in the agreements that you wouldn’t cotton to.) Myself, well I’m not worried about my photos rights cause any images of me on a FoMoCoGoBi have gotta be fakes, plus I don’t think there’s any advertising edge to be garnered using my image anyway.

So there you have it, Yet Another Corporation Trying To Make Money Off Something That Oughtta Be Free, 2017 Edition.

Presenting the Ford Motor Company GoBike, Gold Edition

Friday, September 8th, 2017

Finally, a rental bike what doesn’t advertise FoMoCo:

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Mystery Rental Bikes on the Streets of San Francisco: “Beyond” – Electric-Powered, Real Gears, Better than a Ford GoBike?

Thursday, September 7th, 2017

Well, obvs. this is better than the likes of a clunky, 40-pound, Ford Motor Company GoBike “bikeshare” rental bike. For one thing, it’s got an electric motor:

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But I don’t know where this rental bike is from. Hence the mystery…

Can You Ride MUNI Without Consenting to the Use of Your Image for Any Purpose? YES – Now, What About When You Ride a Ford Motor GoBike?

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

Hey, seems like you’re investigating Michigan-based Ford Motor Company’s / New Yawk-based Motivate, International’s Privacy Policy? So I’ll point you here:

https://www.fordgobike.com/privacy-policy

But nope, no luck, just a blank webpage:

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CALL: Mmmm, it seems as if FoMoCo’s vaunted public / private partnership might be less than perfect?

RESPONSE: So it would seem.

But let’s move on, to this:

https://assets.fordgobike.com/liability-waiver.html

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My modest proposal would be that Ford / Motivate would simply get permission to use images. You know, like We The Ford People want to put you in one of our ads – would you do that for free, or maybe you’d like to get paid? You know, something like that.

So let’s review – MUNI no, you’re not selling use of your image for free v. FordGoBike yes, you have already consented to let them use photos and videos of you on a Ford GoBike so you can’t sue them, and, AAMOF, you might not be able to sue them anyway owing to some other rights you have unwittingly signed away.

Who could have prevented this sitch? Our money-hungry SFMTA und MTC.

So, it would seem that our SFMTA and MTC has been co-opted by all those tens of millions of sweet sweet Ford Dollars.

This Harmless Rental Bike Locked Up on Market is Seen as a HUGE THREAT by Ford Motor Company – A Dubious Public Private Partnership

Thursday, August 24th, 2017

A JUMP bike seen a few days back:

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So, let’s say you want to compete with Ford Motor Company’s high cost GoBike service. You could offer to buy up some parking spaces from the SFMTA and you know, plan out how big your concomitant billboards will be, but uh oh, FoMoCo occupies the field with an exclusive agreement signed by SFGov.

Oh, well, then go “stationless,” how about that?

But uh oh, SFGov has crafted the most restrictive rules possible. Check it – STATIONLESS BIKESHARE PROGRAM – PERMIT APPLICATION

So hey, who do you think just loves this massive Barrier To Entry? Ford Motor Company. Hey, whose representatives so much as said this at meetings ‘n stuff? Ford Motor Company’s

So IDK.

Hey, is this orange-red bike “better” than a Ford Motor Company GoBike?

Hell yes.

And is it cheaper?

Well, pretty much.

Anyway, my points are that This Harmless Rental Bike Locked Up on Market is Seen as a HUGE THREAT by Ford Motor Company AND that this whole, expensive seven-year deal is A Dubious Public/Private Partnership.

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]

JUMP Electric Bikes, from Social Bicycles, Spotted in the Wild – Let’s Hope Expensive Motivate / Ford “GoBike” Rental Doesn’t Interfere

Sunday, July 2nd, 2017

You know, the way they, Motivate International Inc. / Ford Motor Company, lobbied SFGov, hard, against harmless Bluegogo bike rental just a little while ago.

This wasn’t a photo opportunity, just a random sighting of people testing out this new program in Golden Gate Park today.

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One imagines they’ll let you use these rides for more than a half-hour…

Millionaire Lady Has Her Minimum Wage Employee Double-Park a Large Mercedes on Market: Bay Area Bike Share (BABS) in Action

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

Well, here it is:

Am I far off on this one? Minimum wage is $10.74 per hour these days. How much do these bikeshare Mercedes drivers make, you know, at a time after Alta has admitted to a “mistake” or two? And it looks like Alta is “privately held” so who knows how many millionaires own it…

Is this situation what the Planners of San Francisco planned?

Or is this just-park-where-you-feel-like-Alta policy and concomitant bike rack installation a “chop-shop project,” the likes of which San Francisco pols claim to eschew?

How an Outsider Views San Francisco’s Stolen Bike Lifestyle – Buying a Hot Ride at 7th and Market – Also, a BikeShare Station in the Twitterloin?

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

This account of a journalist buying a stolen bike in the heart of Mayor Ed Lee’s gritty Twitterloin district isn’t new, but it’s new to me, so there you go.

Via Patrick Symms:

“Over the years, SFPD Sergeant McCloskey had launched dozens of stakeouts, stings, and reverse stings against bike thieves in the city’s Tenderloin District, becoming a legendary Lone Ranger in the bike wars, a one-man encyclopedia of cycle crime. He once spent an hour telling me his favorite techniques for catching thieves. The best spot was the San Francisco Public Library’s main branch, a few steps from Market Street. “We took a nice Cannondale and locked it to the bike rack there, set up a robbery detail, and watched the guys stealing the bikes,” he explained. “It worked really well. They’re very slick. They ride up on their own bike, park next to it. They have bolt cutters on a shoelace around their neck and lean down to cut it. They’re very fast. We did this successfully more than 20 times. We’ve only been skunked once. About 90 percent of the people we get are drug addicts, meth heads. Speeders, we call them.

In Portland, Joe Luiz had confessed that he’d never quite figured out where all the bikes were going, but in San Francisco this wasn’t an issue. Stolen bikes were for sale, openly, at Market and 7th, a block from where Sergeant McCloskey got so many stolen. 

I’d come to San Francisco for a funeral—my father-in-law had passed away. I drove downtown to pick up his ashes and, combining two errands into one, drove down Market Street to buy a stolen bike. I parked and walked to the corner of 7th, where there was an open-air market in fenced goods, from canned food to blue jeans to batteries.

The hot-bike market in downtown San Francisco was shameless, a disgrace to the city. But it wasn’t the Bay Area’s only dubious bicycle venue. The Alameda flea market was notorious for recycling stolen bikes, and in Golden Gate Park there was a chop shop where amateur mechanics swapped components and resold stolen bikes for profit.”

In related news:

city bike share at 7th and Market

Here it is, brand-new:

Click to expand

Prediction: This station will be difficult and expensive to maintain. (Of course, the people behind Bay Area BikeShare already know this. And yet, they will be surprised by what will occur in this area. You’ll see.)