U.S. top bike-sharing operator announces pilot program to expand network in California

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- Motivate International, a leading U.S. bike-sharing operator, announced Monday a pilot program to expand its service network in San Francisco's Bay Area by adding battery-powered bicycles to its fleet this spring.

Motivate said in a statement that it will first provide 250 battery-driven e-Bikes to its regional bike-sharing system in the business-active Bay Area in the U.S. state of California.

Customers who have installed the Ford GoBike app in their smart phones can easily locate the bikes, which are a custom-made model by Silicon Valley-based GenZe, and return the bikes at any GoBike station.

"E-Bikes will give Bay Area residents and visitors one more option when traveling around San Francisco, which will help make San Francisco more livable and reduce congestion and household transportation costs," said Alix Bockelman, deputy executive director for policy at the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), a governmental agency in the Bay Area that partners with Motivate to introduce bike sharing to the region.

The e-bikes have a maximum speed of 18 mph (about 29 km per hour) with a panel installed to show riders their real-time speed, as well as the remaining time of the battery before the next recharge.

Since it launched in June last year, the Ford GoBike program has completed 262 stations and put more than 2,600 bikes on the ground across San Francisco, San Jose, Berkley, Oakland and Emeryville in the western part of the state.

More than half a million people have tried the bike-sharing system since it came out last year, according to the company.

In 2018, the Ford GoBike network will have more than 7,000 bikes and 546 stations available, which will make it the second largest bike-sharing system in North America.

[ Editor: meng ]
 

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