San Francisco’s famous steeps? Gone! Well, they will be in April, when Motivate International, the operator of the , Ford-sponsored Bay Area’s bike share system, adds e-bikes to its fleet. 250 will be rolled out in San Francisco this April. The docked e-bikes, produced by Silicon Valley’s GenZe, will integrate with the Ford GoBike network of docks.
“We believe e-bikes will be a game-changer for the San Francisco bikeshare experience, vastly improving accessibility and rideability, said Motivate CEO Jay Walder. "All kinds of riders, no matter their fitness or riding level, will be able to zoom up hills and zip around the city.”
GenZe CEO Vish Palekar said: “E-bikes are ideal for bikeshare programs because they make local, short-distance cycling easier for people. Our e-bikes can go anywhere a conventional bicycle can go, including shared lanes and cycling paths – allowing riders to commute greater distances with no traffic and zero emissions."
Ford GoBike isn’t just for rich residents (or tourists), the scheme is also available for a $5 annual fee to those on low-incomes.
The bikes – pedal assist up to 18mph – will be displayed at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas as a part of the tech show’s “Smart Cities” exhibit.
Ford GoBike launched in the Bay Area in June and has 262 stations with 2,600 bikes on the ground across San Francisco, San Jose, Berkeley, Oakland and Emeryville. The system will be expanded this year with the addition of another 5,000 bikes and twice the number of stations. When completed, the Ford GoBike network will be the second-largest bike share system in North America.
Motivate operates bike share systems including Citi Bike in New York, Divvy in Chicago, Capital Bikeshare in the Washington, D.C., area, Hubway in the Boston area, and Nike-sponsored Biketown in Portland, Oregon.