San Francisco

Mixed Reactions to Ford's GoBike Share Expansion in East Bay

In a push to provide more transportation options to residents, several East Bay cities on Tuesday are unveiling the region's first bike share program.

Motivate, a company that runs the bike share system throughout San Francisco and parts of the South Bay, will unveil 400 rentable Ford GoBikes at 40 stations scattered across Berkeley, Emeryville and Oakland. This move is part of a ten-fold expansion that is expected to bring 7,000 bikes to the Bay Area by next year, the company said in a news release. 

The official East Bay launch kicked off in Latham Square in Oakland at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

As part of the program, users will be able to rent a GoBike at one of the available stations and, after their ride, return it to any station within the system. There are a variety of rental options available, including single-use rides ($3 for 30 minutes), day passes ($9.95 for unlimited 30-minute rides within a 24-hour period) and annual passes ($124 for a year of unlimited 45-minute trips). 

But not everyone is on board with the program.

Tourist companies have expressed concern that Ford's bike share program could stifle business for existing bike rentals, while drivers have been frustrated that the rental stations deplete the number of parking spots throughout the three cities.

Also, though the program offers discounts to low-income residents, the expansion skips some lower-income areas, including the entire city of Richmond and parts of Oakland. 

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