Ford’s mobility play isn’t just about new modes of using cars – GoBike, its bike sharing program, is also part of that same vision. The GoBike program is set to launch in earnest across the San Francisco Bay Area by the end of June, the company announced today, and will be available to all residents using either physical Bay Area transit Clipper cards or the Ford GoBike app.
The launch is an expansion of the Bay Area Bike Share pilot program that’s currently available in a much more limited capacity, and will see the available pool of rental bikes increase 10x from 700 to 7,000 total available bicycles, to be rolled out between now and the end of next year across 546 stations spanning Oakland, San Jose, Berkeley and Emeryville. The existing pilot will end on June 11 and service will be suspended until the grand re-launch, but current members will automatically be extended to make up for the gap.
Those who aren’t yet members but who are enticed by the idea will be able to get “Founding Memberships” ahead of the launch; this is capped to the first 1,000 members, but includes a $124 discount on a yearly membership, and a unique Ford GoBike-branded Clipper card which will doubtless become a top collectible in time.
Ford’s partnering with Motivate on its bike share program, and the latter is the one with all the bike share expertise, since it’s a bike share service provider and operator which helps run NYC’s Citi Bike, D.C.’s Capital Bikeshare and more.
Ford first revealed its intent to back the growth of the Bay Area bike sharing operation last September, when it also announced its acquisition of commute-sharing startup Chariot.