Posts Tagged ‘ford’

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…

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…

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.

FORD, INTERRUPTED: Residents of This Building Simply VOTED DOWN a FoMoCo GoBike Rental Station, No Vandalism Required

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

Michigan-based Ford Motor Company and/or its “partner,” New York-based Motivate, International (FKA Alta Bicycle Share), decided to put an 80 foot long “bikeshare” station/ Ford ad on the street right here:

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Here’s your StreetView:

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Those four parking spaces on the left there are where FoMoCo was highly motivated to take over. I think it would have cost them something like $5000 per space and that money would have gone to our SFMTA.

But that aint going to happen now.

Why? Well, there was a vote, of sorts.

Representatives from all the units in this 12-unit building registered their opposition to Ford, except for one unit. No matter how you count it (and I’m not exactly sure if there are any unoccupied units now), that was a 90%+ vote against Ford.

Also, other locals opposed the Ford station, and of course, you can imagine that the first floor small business owners also opposed Ford. But go and ask them if you want, I don’t care. (Actually, this is a touchy issue still, and I’m sure that some of these locals just want to put this issue behind them.)

Apparently, the “outreach” what Ford/Motivate lauds themselves for was quite minimal, but obviously even just one posted notice that was actually seen by at least one resident was all that was required to get the ball rolling and our SFMTA, to its credit, honored this vote.

(Our SFMTA, of course, doesn’t exactly want people to come at them with opposition to their long-planned and expensive plans. A while back, they hosted some plebiscites for some ridiculous “traffic circles” plopped into the middle of intersections on nearby Page and Waller and, well, our SFMTA got its ass handed back to it, losing something like by a three to one ratio at all locations. Oh, and the Project Manager for this absurd plan was “sad” to hear this result. And the upshot is that the SFMTA doesn’t host votes like this anymore.)

Anyway, the People spoke and Ford went away – there was no vandalism at all. You didn’t have business owners talking to the MSM making national and international news about opposing Ford. Just saying.

Now, where should the Big Blue Oval put its corporate marketing instead, you know, instead of having an empty part of the grid, as with 24th Street now?

Suggestions were:

Golden Gate Park Panhandle

USF

John Adams Campus of CCSF

St Mary’s

Etc.

These proposals would make the SFMTA miss out on its $20k+ fee/tax, but I don’t think anyone would mind with these locations. I mean, the bike path is right there in the Panhandle, right?

Now, some from New York, Chicago, Palo Alto, Dearborn etc have a lot of “gripes” about the residents of the San Francisco Bay Area lately. But what if the Ford Motor Company / Motivate people tried to make sure that they give actual notice to residents BEFORE they put up these bike “share” rental stations / Ford ads? This way, residents wouldn’t wake up one morning all surprised.

Just an idea.

FGBOTD – Your Ford Motor Company GoBike Of The Day: #11472, a Bicycle Built for Two

Monday, August 21st, 2017

Market Street outbound, in front of that hot new restaurant at the bottom floor of “NeMa” right across the street from taxpayer-subsidized Twitter HQ – you know this fine dining establishment represents SFGov’s annual Twitterloin / Tenderloin / Mid-Market / “New Market” “renaissance,” except actually it doesn’t because this space is totally empty and it’s been so for a while now, oh well: 

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(And this way, this ride is cheaper than paying the MUNI fare, so that’s something.)

(And what a lazy stoker, not even trying…)

This behavior of course violates your TOS, but then again, Ford Motor Company tracks you more than, say, Citibank does in New Yawk, so maybe this all balances out, maybe we’re all a little bit sneaky.

And oh, here’s the skivvy from a former Trump advisor / Ford Motor Company CEO, you know, just last year:

“Listen, here’s the deal. The opportunity is not bikes. That’s not why Ford’s in it. The opportunity is data, and the data is super valuable because…”

And the reply is that all the interested parties worked out a deal where there’s no telemetry on the bike – of course it’s on you, on your smartphone, right?

And when people ask Motivate International about all this, the reply is that there’s no telemetry on the bike. Well, yeah, but the question is what about all this? The profit-motivated Motivate doesn’t seem to want to answer, oh well.

Here’s Ford Motor Company’s answer, in a way. I just don’t understand how somebody renting a bike gets all this stuff tracked while driving a car the next day:

“Driving Characteristics, such as speed, use of accelerator, brakes, steering, seat belts, and other similar information about how the vehicle is used.”

Oh well…

Pop-Up Ford Motor Company Bikeshare Rental at Fell and Central – Vandalized Already – Where Can the Next Station Go?

Friday, August 18th, 2017

Here it is:

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The SFMTA or somebody experimented with this part of this part of Central by putting long-lasting,  downtown-style hash marks on the ground, as if they were going to put meters here. But these spaces are gone now, of course:

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Here’s a post, from a protester, one supposes:

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(I’ll tell you, this is an amateur effort. I don’t think this is the way to organize after missing your chance before installation. Perhaps you might get some palliative cliches from London Breed’s office (but I wouldn’t address her as a mere Supervisor, oh no), but the other two literally get paid to promote corporate bike rental / advertising in Frisco.)

Here’s the vandalism, on the Ford part. It’s already been cleaned as best as you can expect from the basically minimum-wage (15% over minimum – hardly “living wages,” as was promised and as is still claimed) workers:

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La mise-en-scene:

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There was conflict online as well. Some of it looked like this:

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That discussion of bicycle activists vs. area locals went on and on, oh well. I’m not sure how the Ford Motor / Motivate crew went about doing its vaunted outreach, but it seems to have been pretty minimal. I think the Bay to Breakers people have put a lot more effort in, by way of comparison, with less at stake.

Anyway, the Ford Motor people are out there, scouting more locations. The next location after this certainly won’t be at Hayes and Cole, which was Ford’s original choice. Apparently, about ten locals yammered about this and that was all it took to get Ford to back down. Of course, that was before installation.

Now, feverish with victory, the residents of Hayes and Cole are discussing where the next Ford Motor station should go, to fill in the network. I think the suggestions were John Adams campus of CCSF at Hayes and Masonic, USF, the Panhandle, and maybe St. Mary’s, I forget. But they sure as Hell don’t want anything like the above anywhere on the far end of Hayes Street.

It wouldn’t take much for Ford to take its half-assed, minimal notice and turn that into actual notice, if it wants its expensive marketing effort to be less controversial…