“Bay Area Bike Share operator Motivate — which manages the program under a contract with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) — today announced a seven-year partnership agreement with Ford Motor Company that will allow Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Motivate to complete its plan for a tenfold expansion of the region’s bike share network to 7,000 bicycles from the current 700.” Read the full MTC press release.
Bike East Bay is looking forward to seeing these bikes in the East Bay, and we’re glad to have the support of the Better Bike Share Partnership in our work to engage as many residents as possible in the planning of the program.
Our goal is to ensure that the program’s ridership reflects the diversity of the East Bay, and that anyone who would like to use bike share is given every opportunity to do so.
Through education, outreach, and program development we will focus on embedding bike share as a community asset for all, regardless of race, gender, zip code or income.
What does the sponsor announcement mean?
- It solidifies the arrival date for bikes in the East Bay. We are more confident than ever that the announced timeline, which calls for a first wave of bikes to be installed by Spring 2017, is realistic.
- More data: based on Ford’s previous InfoCycle project, there’s strong potential for additional sensors to be installed on the bikes to collect large amounts of data on how and where people are riding. Data points like air quality, heart rate, acceleration and speed could help inform advocacy efforts and improve everyone’s ride.
- eBikes? No mention of electric bikes in the announcement or the press release, but Ford has dabbled in electric bikes and electric vehicles in the past.
There is great potential for bike share to act as a valuable addition to the East Bay’s transportation system. The influx of 1,400 bikes to Oakland, Emeryville and Berkeley will hopefully both enable more people to get where they need to go and benefit our bicycling community as a whole.