The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) signed an agreement with Bay Area Motivate’s Bay Wheels to provide 4,000 stationless shared e-bikes throughout San Francisco.
Under the four-year agreement, Bay Wheels will begin to deploy 4,000 new e-bikes starting in December 2019 with full rollout by April 2020. The new e-bikes will work as "hybrids" that can be docked at stations but also locked to bike racks around the city. The stationless functionality will expand the reach of the system and provide citywide access to bike-share.
The hybrid e-bikes are in addition to the 4,500 bikes already provided for by SFMTA's contract with Bay Wheels, allowing Bay Wheels to operate up to 8,500 total bikes in San Francisco. The bike-share expansion is in addition to the existing 500 stationless JUMP e-bikes that are permitted until March 1, 2020.
The terms of the agreement ensure that shared e-bikes will be a reliable, accessible, and affordable transportation choice for San Francisco riders. In particular, the agreement has introduced new, more stringent performance standards and requirements to ensure that Bay Wheels provides reliable and redundant service. Other examples include:
- Requiring bicycles to have components that can be easily replaced with alternatives, in the case any hardware issues arise.
- Providing SFMTA with the right to permit a second operator if service thresholds are not consistently met.
- $300,000 in fees to fund SFMTA bike rack installation citywide.
While the Bay Wheels e-bikes can be parked to any bike rack, bike-share stations will remain a critical part of the system, increasing predictability for users and reducing overcrowding in high-demand areas.