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e-Bike programme for San Francisco

The pedal-assist e-Bikes boost natural pedal power so riders can cycle up hills more easily

A rendering of the Ford GoBike-branded GenZe electric bicycles
A rendering of the Ford GoBike-branded GenZe electric bicycles

Motivate International, the operator of the Bay Area’s regional bike-share system, is augmenting its fleet, beginning with 250 e-Bikes in San Francisco.


The aim of the pedal-assist e-Bikes, produced by Silicon Valley-based GenZe, is to help riders by boosting their natural pedal power, so they can get up hills more easily and ride for longer distances.


“Our shared e-Bike is the newest product in our pipeline of innovative, sustainable mobility solutions,” said Jay Walder, CEO of Motivate. “We believe e-Bikes will be a game-changer for the San Francisco bike-share experience, vastly improving accessibility and rideability. All kinds of riders, no matter their fitness or riding level, will be able to zoom up hills and zip around the city.”


To announce the pilot programme, the e-Bikes will be displayed at this week’s CES 2018 in Las Vegas as part of the tech show’s smart cities exhibit.


The deployment will begin in April 2018 and the new offering will integrate with the Ford GoBike network.


Riders can locate e-Bikes using the Ford GoBike app, rent them from any station where they are available using their Clipper card or smart phone, and park them at any station in San Francisco.


“E-Bikes will give Bay Area residents and visitors one more option when travelling around San Francisco, which will help to make San Francisco more livable and reduce congestion and household transportation costs. We look forward to the expansion of the Ford GoBike e-Bike pilot to the other Ford GoBike cities,” added Alix Bockleman, deputy executive director for policy at the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC).


MTC is the regional governmental agency that partners with Motivate to bring bike-sharing to the Bay Area. MTC also manages the Bay Area’s Clipper card, which can now be used to unlock Ford GoBike.


The e-Bike’s maximum speed is 18mph. It features a 345 Wh Li-ion battery and a user interface panel that lets riders know their speed and battery charge level.


By adding e-Bikes on a 12-month pilot basis, Motivate said it will be able to gather community feedback and work with its city partners to evaluate the results of the programme before looking to add e-Bikes permanently to the Ford GoBike system.


With 262 stations and 2,600+ bikes on the ground across San Francisco, San Jose, Berkeley, Oakland and Emeryville, the system has generated more than 500,000 rides since launch in June 2017.


When completed in 2018, Motivate claims the 7,000-bike, 546-station Ford GoBike network will be the second-largest bike-share system in North America.



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