JUMP bikes are in their early days, and this week’s rollout is a modest 100-bike endeavor that isn’t yet open to the public, though that is a goal for the future. Instead, Social Bicycles staff have been reaching out to local businesses and nonprofits to offer memberships to people living and working in places where the program is starting out.
The limited rollout is part of a UC Berkeley study to see how people choose their mode of transportation, funded by a $735,000 grant from the Federal Highway Administration.
Jump Stationless eBikes >>
The Bay Area’s first electric bike-sharing program put 100 neon-red bicycles on San Francisco streets this week, just ahead of the scheduled debut on Wednesday of the region’s big Ford GoBike project.
This will be the first e-bike program for Social Bicycles, a Brooklyn, N.Y., firm that runs bike sharing in 27 cities including Portland, Ore., and San Mateo. This week, the company is running a free e-bike demonstration in the Bayview and Mission districts. Eventually, it plans to charge $1 for 15 minutes of riding. By comparison, Ford GoBike’s single-time fee is $3 for a 30-minute trip, and its bikes are strictly human-powered.
The electric-assisted bikes, branded Jump, require pedaling but can easily boost riders up all but the steepest hills. I rode up Broadway from the Embarcadero to Taylor, although the last block — a 21 percent grade — took some sweat and traversing.
There’s one problem for Social Bicycles’ Jump operation: It’s not permitted by the city yet.
SFMTA Stationless Bike Permit >>
Jump Stationless eBike >>
Last month, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to authorize the San Francisco’s participation in a plan to grow the regional bike share program from 700 to 7,000 bikes in San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Berkeley and Emeryville.
This expansion will transform the successful pilot program into a new, robust transportation option for the Bay Area. Under the plan, bike share in San Francisco will expand from 350 to 4,500 bikes, giving San Francisco the largest number of shared bikes per capita of any city in the nation and supporting San Francisco’s policy goals of increasing bicycling and reducing traffic fatalities.
The expansion is slated to take place in phases — beginning in 2016 and continuing through 2018 — and will bring bike share to every district in San Francisco. Motivate, the program’s operator, will deliver this expansion at no cost to the taxpayers.