If you live in San Francisco, you have probably noticed the plethora of bikes and electric scooters. Now, Motivate is expanding the Ford GoBike program in San Francisco to include pedal-assist bikes. Motivate announced the upcoming launch back in January.
Motivate will start with just 250 e-bikes in the initial launch period. Anyone who has a Ford GoBike membership can unlock the bikes with the public transit Clipper card or via Ford’s GoBike app at no additional cost. With the e-bikes, people can ride at speeds up to 18 mph, which makes it legal to ride in bike lanes.
These bikes work by giving the rider a bit of a power boost while pedaling. Ford’s deployment of pedal assist bikes comes a couple of months after JUMP launched in San Francisco. Uber has since acquired JUMP for about $200 million.
After taking one out for a spin up some hills yesterday, it’s clear that existing Ford GoBike customers are going to like them. But these are not the only pedal-assist bikes on the streets of San Francisco. It’s worth noting that JUMP can haul me up the hill just as easily as Motivate’s bikes.
What makes these bikes a bit different from JUMP bikes is the fact that they’re docked and have removable batteries. The removable batteries enable Motivate to swap in and out batteries when needed, rather than having to take them somewhere to charge. And down the road, Motivate envisions bike charging via its docking stations.
Currently, there are 262 Ford GoBike stations with 2,600+ bikes across the San Francisco Bay Area. By the end of this year, there will be 546 stations featuring 7,000 Ford GoBikes, which will make it the second-largest bike-sharing system in North America.
Given that New York City is working on a framework pertaining to electric bikes, it should only be a matter of time before Motivate launches e-bikes as part of the Citi Bikes program.