Posts Tagged ‘price’

A Gasoline Mystery: 76 Station Charges Just $2.32 per Gallon But the Chevron Across the Street is Asking $3.40 – What Madness is This? – 1400 19th Ave v. 1401 19th Ave.

Tuesday, March 13th, 2018

I remember, back in the 1990’s, in Hawaii, paying (ever so slightly) over $20 for a tank of gas* for the first time in my life.

But you know, from that perspective $2.32 at a 76 station doesn’t seem all that expensive, at all, you know, for 2018:

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And here’s your Chevron – note the cash price. That’s a whopping 46% more:

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And of course, these stations are right across the street from each other, in our Middle Sunset, or whatever ppl call it:

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It’s a mystery…

*I can also ‘member the first time I spent three figures on a single tank – that was in Marin, in the Early Aughts. Good times…

FordGoBike in the Presidio vs. an Electric JUMP! Bike in the Presidio: One Makes Sense, But the Other is a Mystery – Is GoBike Failing?

Thursday, March 8th, 2018

Have you seen all the bright neon (orange? red?) JUMP! bikes all over Frisco these days? That’s not surprising since they’re getting used, a lot. A lot more than the clunky, heavy, legacy GoBike “bikeshare” bikes from Ford Motor Company in what’s basically a continuation of Bay Area Bike Share what got started like a half-decade ago and what’s cost us eight figures already.

I’ll tell you, my guess is that most of the FordGoBikes I’ve seen in the Presidio and points north, sometimes way north, like out of the county north, and we’re talking about a lot, like hundreds I myself have seen these past nine months, are being pushed / pedaled by PEOPLE WHO DON’T KNOW THAT THEIR $10 “DAY PASS” isn’t actually a day-pass and that they’ll soon be met with an unexpected high two-figure or low three-figure bill from the Ford ppl.

How do I know this? Well, I go up and ask them about it.

Of course, some know that they’ll get hit with hours and hours of penalty fees – and they just don’t care. The deal’s worth it for them. Well, that’s fine with me, be my guest.

But this?

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These ppl near the Great San Francisco Bight, let’s call it the Baker Beach area, have a loooooong way to go to get their heavy rides back into even the nearest GoBike rental station.

But look at this, unexpected JUMP bikes up at the Sports Basement. So this makes sense – two ppl pay two dollars to trek from where, SoMA, the Financh, the Twitterloin? All of those places are within range I figure, what with pedal assist and all. Then they’ll pay another two bucks to get home? If so, that makes sense to me as well:

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Now, do I approve of JUMP’s video/photo policy what allows Social Bicycles Inc or whomever to use images of you* and your face, (your pretty face!) however the Hell they feel, with no payment to you? Well Hell no. But that’s the deal our local alphabet soup (SFMTA SFCTA MTC BAAQMD it doesn’t matter) struck. Sorry.

OTOH, people are loving the JUMPs.

And hey, speaking about the alphabet soup, are all those govt ppl pleased with how FordGoBike is doing these days? Oh, Hell no.

And how many stations should have the FoMoCo ppl have had west of Masonic by now? Lots and lots. But how many to they have IRL? Zero. (And the prospects for anything soon look bleak – the more the Ford ppl push on installing rental stations, the more pushback they’ll get from residents. I’ll tell you, I can’t believe how many tens of millions of dollars Ford is going to spend over the next six years compared with what they’ve gotten so far. JMO.)

In conclusion, JUMP good, FORD bad.

We’ll have to wait and see how things shake out when GoBike Goes Electric, you know, a little bit, in April…



$10.49 vs. $14.69 – Your San Francisco Soda Tax in Action – Diet Pepsi vs. Pepsi, Choose or Lose

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

This is why I’m no good at ze politics – ’cause I can see the good and the bad of our San Francisco soda tax.

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In this particular case,  I can’t see somebody saying, “Oh, I’ll get the diet then.” But I can see somebody buying less of the regular Pepsi.


IT’S NEW! Our SFMTA’s Proposed Operating Budget: FY 2019 & FY 2020 – Oh My, $3 Off-Peak Cable Car Fares? – And a $5 All Day Fare?

Tuesday, February 20th, 2018

Hot off the presses:

Balancing the Transportation Needs of a Growing City – FY 2019 and FY 2020 Operating Budget – SFMTA Board Meeting – Ed Reiskin, Director of Transportation – February 20, 2018

Or maybe this webpage went live four days ago. Anyway, this stuff is new to me.

And oh, the above link is sure to have gone busted by, IDK, let’s say April 2018, so here’s your permalink:


So what would a Low-Income Single Ride Fare be, like $1.25?


An Adult All Day Pass for $5 almost sounds like a deal. But the SFMTA is counting on purchasers only taking two trips per day like 97% of the time? That seems optimistic:


OPTION 1 here means that the sucker fare in two years for ppl coming to Frisco just off the turnip truck will be an astonishing $3.25?


What’s this, SFTMA? No growth in the great suburban Richmond, Sunset and Parkside Districts until 2040 at the earliest? Well played, SFMTA – there’s no reason to court controversy, especially if ppl in government want to bust you up, right?


Our cursed Central Subway, second only to the quite corrupt NYC on the how many billions of dollars per mile in the how much is this thing gonna cost contest, will start being a load in 2020. (Of course, it was supposed to “make money” for MUNI – that was a promise:


Pick your outrage here – does it really cost MUNI over $500 to remove a Denver Boot from a car? Wow.


I’m not sure why the SFMTA’s budget is allowed to grow at all, much less with a built-in commish for the SFMTA. But look at this – an “Off Peak Cable Car fare for our Cable Cars. Just $3. Wow:


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.


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:


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?


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?


  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…


… 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.


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

A New Low for Walmart: The $35 Bicycle, Assembled

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

It’s a real bike with shifters and whatnot. Kind of heavy. And there were others there for sale as well.

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My current ride is one what costed $74 – a (Bike-Shaped Object) (BSO), pejoratively. (It replaced the $98 model what got stolen in the 94111 in 2016, Frisco being the west coast capital of bike theft ‘n all.) I didn’t think my wiener would appreciate the saddle so it got replaced. And the goofily-sized 27.5 inch rear tire lasted like two months – it got replaced with a Schwalbe anti-puncture commuter model for $35. I have another Schwalbe as well, ready to go as soon as the front tire flats out or wears out. A $15 U-lock (with 5 keys!) has sufficed so ar.

Anyway, you can buy a real 21-speed bike, prolly aimed at the teen market, for $35, sometimes, at Walmart.

America, what a country!

TRUTH: If Your Beef Aint from the Kobe Area, It Aint Kobe Beef

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

Or so they say


And I’m not sure if those taters come from a farmers market neither…

A Tale of Two Gas Stations, One Charging 27% per Gallon More Than the Other at the Same Location, Market and Castro – “RC” v. Chevron

Monday, October 3rd, 2016

You’ve tried the soda, now try some gasoline:


Much cheaper than the Chevron across the street, unless you’re using a credit card, in which case you’re paying the same.


America – what a country!

Prices are UP at the Stow Lake Boat House – Also, Sales Tax is Charged? – Anyway, $40-Something/Hour for a Family Boat

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

Here are your new prices:


And what’s the deal – they didn’t pay taxes on the fleet of boats, so the people who rent the boats pay sales tax to make up for that, bit by bit, over the decades? OK fine. Can’t say that I understand this.

Quadrilla is the Best Game Ever, If You’re Three Years Old – And Up – Expensive But Worth It? Maybe

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016

This is the marble run: Hape Quadrilla Cyclone.

And here’s how much it costs. Which is to say Amazon will sell this set to you for something between $90-something and $190-something.

Here’s one way to set it up:

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The Wall Street Journal approves, anyway.

Here’s the Cyclone set in action:

And here’s a mish-mash of two other sets:

Oh, made in China, natch.

IDK, read the comments section in Amazon for a few minutes and then You Make The Call.

I myself paid on the low end of Amazon’s absurdly wide pricing range, so I’m not complaining…