Via the San Francisco Chronicle:
Ford GoBike will boost fleet of electric bikes in SF from 250 to 850
. . . With the expansion that starts Friday, Ford GoBike will more than triple its number of ebikes in San Francisco — from 250 to 850 — while bringing battery-powered two-wheelers to the East Bay for the first time. . . .
Ford GoBike has a contract with the Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission to provide traditional and electric bicycles at docks throughout the region. San Francisco’s stock of rental GoBikes will reach nearly 2,000 once the new ebikes hit streets. The company recently added five docks in the Bayview, a neighborhood that lacks easy transit connections to the downtown core, along with several stations in the Panhandle area.
GoBike’s regional network will include 7,000 bicycles parked at 546 stations once it’s complete, making it the second-largest bikeshare system in North America.
Lyft recently purchased Ford GoBike operator Motivate.
Also via the Chronicle:
Bike-share options are rarely available for people with disabilities
Andre Bryant did something this past summer that he had never done in his 48 years: He rode a bike.
Bryant, who has cerebral palsy, rode a hand-powered bike — a tricycle, actually — as part of a pilot program in Detroit, where the bike-share, called MoGo, is trying to provide more options for people with limited mobility.
Bryant couldn’t get enough. He returned again and again to take the adaptive bike farther each time at a park along the Detroit River, where the program debuted.
“It was really nice,” Bryant said. “I think it’s very important that you have alternatives, alternatives for mobility.”
Those alternatives have been elusive, even as bike-share programs have grown in popularity. About 35 million bike-share rides were taken in 2017, 25 percent more than the year before, and several orders of magnitude greater than the 320,000 trips taken in 2010, according to data compiled by the National Association of City Transportation Officials.
Yet the lack of adaptive bicycles has raised questions and legal concerns about accessibility. Companies that have sought to revolutionize transportation increasingly are facing questions about who gets left out.
“You’re creating this great new way of getting around for all these people, but you’re completely leaving out this huge segment of the population,” said Carol Tyson, government affairs liaison for the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund. “You’re leaving us behind, and you’re creating a more and more segregated society for us to live in. . . .”
n May, MoGo started its pilot program in Detroit, modeled in part after one in Portland, Ore. MoGo held demonstrations in which people like Bryant could try hand-powered bicycles; tricycles, which are more stable than bicycles, and other cycles. From May through October, the adaptive bikes had 174 rides, Lisa Nuszkowski, founder and executive director of MoGo, said.
The group is analyzing what it learned. It’s too early to draw conclusions, but officials said that before they think about expanding, they want to know, for example, how people used the bikes and what challenges they faced.
Some say that providing adaptive bikes isn’t straightforward. Zagster, one of the first operators to provide adaptive bikes, introduced them in Carmel, Ind., and at Ohio State University in Columbus in 2015. The company now has about 85 adaptive bicycles in 22 communities across the country. . . .
But Zagster is re-evaluating and it’s unclear if it will continue to expand, Manin said. She said some riders are unfamiliar with how to use the bikes, and the bikes are difficult to maintain because few manufacturers make the needed parts.
Another question is how adaptive bicycles can be used practically, said Thomas Gregory, deputy director of the Center for Independent Living, which has offices in Berkeley.
There’s recreational riding for fun but what gets trickier, Gregory said, is using the bikes for commuting.
“You go on your trip, you get to your destination, you don’t have your wheelchair with you,” he said.
At a station in Portland, people can help others to get on and off the bikes, said Julie Wood, a spokeswoman for Motivate, which runs Portland’s bike-share system and Citi Bike in New York.
“Some people have a mobility device, or a wheelchair; some people don’t,” she said. “Some people need help getting lifted in adaptive bikes.”
Gregory serves on a committee that is trying to solve that problem as Oakland mulls its own adaptive-bike pilot program, which is set to begin next year. He said the group was looking at an electric model in China that can accommodate a rider and a wheelchair.
He said the difficulty in solving the problem shouldn’t stop cities and operators from trying.
He said he believed that the Americans With Disabilities Act requires options for people with disabilities but the question has not been tested in the courts. Some cities have asked the Justice Department to what extent they are obligated to offer alternatives. The department said that “to the extent a bike-share program is a program, service or activity of a city or other public entity,” it would fall under the ADA.
Gregory said he’s happy that pilot programs are striving to improve accessibility but it should have been part of the discussion when bike-shares were started. . . .
I've always considered one of the advantages of AVs used in car-sharing is that some of them can be equipped with rear doors/hatches with ramps to allow wheelchair users to roll right in, seriously increasing their mobility and convenience. I had never thought about disabled access to shared bikes, due to the practical difficulties mentioned above.