Mobility Moves

Dock-less E-Scooters OKed by City - BART 2nd crossing at which stadium Must add room for standard rail connections --- JUMP E-bikes Win Exclusive SF approval for How Long? --- 2018 Regional Transit Initiative

City Announces E-Scooter Plans Going Forward on May Day

Helmets, Parking and Accident Liability Still Not Clear

The MTCSF announced a process for permitting the ubiquitious scooters that invaded the Eastern parts of the City in early March of 2018. The scooters, which are silent and can reach speeds of 15 mph, became an instant hit with people who had a mobile phone app to unlock them and were willing to pay a $1 rental fee — and 15 cents a minute — to ride them. City Attorney Dennis Herrera had issued cease-and-desist orders against illegal operations as the unprecedented invasion of mobile riders triggered a backlash of concerns and complaints. The Uber like strategy of asking forgiveness rather than endure a potentially suffocating process of permission resulted in potential down the road problems for scooter applicants to the City. "It’s time to set a new precedent where we say we are no longer going to reward bad actors,” said Peter Papadapoulos of the Mission Economic Development Agency.

"Our goal has always been to ensure that innovation does not come at the price of public safety,” John Coté, spokesman for Herrera’s office said. “These scooters could have a role in San Francisco’s transportation picture if they’re used lawfully. That includes being parked in the right place, ridden in the right place and following all terms of the pending permit program.​

Senior Columnist Willie Brown Endorses Scooters "Pedestrians and motorists may scream. City officials may confiscate them by the dozens. But the fact is that young people, especially younger women, are more comfortable on the scooter.

You don’t break a sweat, your clothes don’t get ruffled, and you can ride in heels.

There are, of course, valid concerns about safety, but the Municipal Transportation Agency has already signaled a willingness to permit 2,500 of the two-wheelers on the streets.

A spokesman for Spin, one of the electric scooter outfits, says initial reports show that 20 percent of all rides begin and end at a transit hub.


Stationless E-Scooters descend on San Francisco sidewalks

LimeBike, Spin and Bird have launched E-Scooters following introduction of March 6

restrictive legislation to Board of Supervisors By Kathleen Pender

On March 6, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors introduced legislation requiring a permit to operate motorized scooters. Until then, they are not prohibited

Ford GoBike by Motivate has an exclusive contract to operate bikes with stations. San Francisco has given Jump an exclusive permit to operate electric-assisted or E-bikes that can be locked to any bike rack and are therefore called stationless. San Francisco also has permitted Scoot, which places Vespa-style scooters (which the city calls mopeds) on city streets.


When is the question for the BART Tunnel Under the Bay?

It was 1972/73 when the three most symbolic projects of the last SF Bay Area generation reached completion. The Transamerica Pyramid, Sutro Tower & BART. Hour is late for us to not become the gridlock generation

If built, a second Transbay tube might carry standard gauge as well as BART gauge. Rail gauge refers to the width of the tracks, and BART’s mesures 5 feet, 6 inches. That’s bigger than standard gauge — which is four feet, eight-and-a-half inches, on which Caltrain, Amtrak, and almost every other major rail system in the U.S. run — by almost a foot.

There are at least five options under study for where a tunnel might land. Sixteenth and Third streets in Mission Bay could work, serving the future Warriors arena and connecting to Caltrain. So might Mission and First, to sync with the Transbay Terminal and bleed pressure off BART’s trunk line, one block north.

Having passed Measure RR in 2016 with 70 percent of the vote, BART won approval for a $3.5 billion bond issue dedicated toward various system upgrades, demonstrating that the electorate hungers for better transit. This June, voters in the entire nine-county area will vote on Regional Measure 3, a massive, $4.45 billion suite of capital projects that encompasses everything from additional regional bus service and ferry terminals to the extensions of Caltrain to the Transbay Terminal and BART to San Jose, plus improvements to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and an upgraded Clipper system and many other things.

Nick Josefowitz, who is also running for San Francisco supervisor, ranks BART service on a second Transbay Tube as his No. 3 priority. Nos. 1 and 2 are a tie. He wants to upgrade Caltrain to connect to Oakland and Sacramento under the Bay, with frequent service and at high speeds, and also to “max out” BART’s existing infrastructure through other means, such as adding cars to the current trains and implementing a driverless train-control system that would enable 25 percent more trains to pass through the current tube at peak hours.

It’s less about avoiding rush-hour catastrophes and more about guiding the region to smarter growth, with housing density centered on stations.

“In my experience, there are hundreds of thousands of people who want to live within walking distance of a BART or Caltrain station,” Nick Josefowitz says. “And that’s the only way you make these pencil out, which is not as transportation projects but as regional projects.”

Start 2nd BART tube now, revitalize Alameda

By Eugenie P. Thomson March 7, 2018

An auto bridge, as suggested by others, does not fit on either side of San Francisco Bay; neither the land nor the geometry of the existing roadways would allow for feasible vehicular connections. Transit, ferry, bicycle and walking are the only options available in the dense central core of the Bay Area.

Let’s not wait 50 years, passing the time with study after study

16th & 3rd Warriors Arena Transit Stop Growing in Scope and Cost


San Francisco is awash in all kinds of “emerging mobility” services besides the especially disruptive new e-scooters lauched thus far by LimeBike, Spin and Bird. These include:

  • bike sharing (Ford GoBike, Jump),

  • scooter sharing (Scoot),

  • car sharing (Turo, Getaround, Maven, Zipcar), carpooling (Scoop, Waze Carpool), commuter vans (Chariot),

  • ride-hailing (Uber and Lyft),

  • autonomous-vehicle testing (Cruise Automation), and

  • courier services (Caviar, Good Eggs, Grubhub, Instacart, Postmates, Omni, Amazon’s Flex).

This raises new questions about the old policies regarding exclusive old school TAXI stops, late night services, handicap access, exclusive lanes of traffic, and even new projects such as "protected bike lanes" and "conjestion pricing". Still to come are the driverless vehicles. The folks in charge of making this work at SFMTA also appears to be awash in planners with a deficit of infrastucture going forward smoothly. Still important to stay positive and "Together" as we leave with this quote from their May 3, 2018 "Emerging Mobility" report.

"We want to create a situation where we can proactively partner with companies, so we’re not governing by fire drill,” Warren Logan, SFMTA senior planner

JUMP wins exclusive City contract for Stationless E-Bikes

Ford Go-Bikes Add E-Bikes to their Stations in Response as of APR-18

Jan 18, 2018 Jump, to the dismay of many startup rivals has been awarded a 18 month pilot project by the SFMTA. Jump bikes will lock to racks with an integrated U-lock, in contrast to freestanding stationless bikes, which according to the SFMTA “increase the operational burden of relocating improperly parked bikes” and pose a safety risk if they block a public right-of-way. “

Jump will charge $2 for the first 30 minutes and 7 cents a minute thereafter for its vermillion electric-assisted bikes. Jump is based in Brooklyn and operates bike-sharing in 40 markets including San Mateo, which will get e-bikes this spring.

Ford Gobike is operated by Motivate, also a Brooklyn company, operating under a 10-year contract with the Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission says it will add 250 E-bikes in April 2018 to its now ubiquitious must-return-to-station-racks throughout the City's most busy neighborhoodsaaa

Other companies that submitted stationless applications include Limebike, Ofo, Spin, Mobike and Scoot. LimeBike, based in San Mateo, and Ofo, based in Beijing, have both asked the city to reopen its permitting process.

by Pat Pender

It is easier to take a photo of 1,000 discarded bicycles than 60 million rides a day

Should San Francisco leap-frog to charging electric bicycles?

By Henry Grabar DEC 18, 2017 “Dock-less is as important to transportation as cellular was to telephony,” said Horace Dediu, an analyst at Asymco who studies the mode. It is the one place in the field, he said, where “change is happening at a blinding speed. “The Chinese model depends on one huge subsidy, an invisible subsidy, and that’s the parking subsidy,”

Why challenge the home team? In part because planners think mode share—the percentage of commuters who use bicycles—could be much, much higher. They don’t see multiple bike-share systems competing for the same pot of people.

“Working to protect an old business model is a dead-end street,” Dossett explained. “But we want to keep out system going until we’re really sure that what’s going to replace it is going to stick around.” Even if the free-floating bikes could rival established systems for reliability, Dossett said, he foresaw a coming use for those docks: securing and charging electric bicycles, which many bicycle professionals believe are—after dock-less bikes—the next big thing.

The Bikeshare Boom is On Dockless Bicycles has been a Disruptive Change Agent in China in 2016, Is San Francisco Next?

Scoot plans to additionally add more "scooters and other types of the electric vehicles" to its existing fleet of mostly Vespa scooter like 700 electric vehicles dduring 2018.

It’s not clear if the SFMTA’s permit with JUMP prevents other companies from launching other types of stationless transportation sharing services.SPIN is in early talks with the SFMTA and hopes its stationless bikes to receive a permit to compete for users in San Francisco.

China see its bike-sharing technology as comparable to other historic global contributions like the ancient inventions of gunpowder, paper, printing and the compass. Hu Weiwei, founder and president of Mobike, one of the most popular bike-sharing apps in China, said the benefits of shared bicycles far outweighed any inconvenience, noting reductions in carbon emissions and improvements in traffic. Mobike has designed a point system to punish misdeeds like leaving a bike in the middle of a road


"In their home market, China’s bike-sharing companies are charging full speed ahead. But in the West, they’re stuck in first gear."


"The services have become almost identical—scan a QR code to unlock a bike, then drop it off anywhere, no docking station needed—so the only thing they can compete on is convenience."

Joe Mathews Demos How Uber Lyft Makes Bay Transit Marginally Functional

Columnist from SoCal Does 3-day frustration survey beginning with New Sonoma Train

"The Bay Area is our richest large metropolitan region because it skillfully connects the world. But if you need to make transit connections in the Bay Area, good luck....

"BART system badly needs more cars, better maintenance, governance that isn’t dominated by unions and a second tunnel under the bay."

If the Bay Area is ever going to be the design-savvy ecotopia of its dreams, it must combine transit systems and put the rider’s needs first. Right now, using transit there makes you feel powerless. And that should be unacceptable in California’s most powerful region."

Uber & Lyft continue to Grab Market Share

The Late Night Bus Pilot Project 2016 -2017 Mission Merchants Association and former 9th Dist. BART Director Tom Radulovich [1996-2016] succeeded in launching a pilot project to provide service past midnight to the East Bay from the 16th & 24th St BART Station. The long-term continuation remains uncertain. BART and AC Transit have adjusted and reduced the service to weekends only. We are hoping for an update from current 9th Dist BART Director Bevan Duffy. Here is a candid look at the state of our sad regional transit system.

800 All Nighter. Richmond BART to Market St. & Van Ness Ave., S.F. (Weekends: 16th & 24th St. BART), via San Pablo Ave., University Ave., Telegraph Ave. and downtown Oakland. Returns via Market St., the Transbay Temp. Terminal, and West Oakland BART.

Better-Bart? On November 8, 2016, voters approved $3.5 billion in bonds dedicated to BART system reinvestment.

GoBike Meets the SF Mission Now expanding from 700 to 7000 bicycles but system inflexibility a concern

One of the community leaders who was concerned about the expansion is Oscar Grande, who runs Bicis Del Pueblo (“Bicycles for the People”) a community bike program operated by local environmental group PODER that teaches children and families how to ride, buy, and maintain bikes of their own. “We want people to become everyday bicycle commuters,” Grande says. “It’s good for the environment, it's good for their bodies, it’s good for the neighborhood, and it's cheaper. But what works for North Beach is going to be different than what works for the Mission District. I think there’s been a struggle to understand the nuances, the complexity, the cultural traditions of each community. That's what [GoBike] is facing now on 24th Street.”

“What I hear from people is not just ‘I need a bike to go to my job downtown.’” Grande says. “I hear people say things like, ‘Well, I've got three kids. Junior goes to this school, then I have to go a half mile to drop off my daughter, then drive a mile back to get ready to go to work.’ They could use a bike, but they need one that fits their needs.”

Vandals Target Ford GoBikes In The Mission, Oakland

"Our team operates 24-hours a day and we are rapidly responding to any reports of vandalism, and making any necessary repairs," said Dani Simons, spokesperson for Motivate GoBikes.

a pump primer for making cycling infrastructure in the city much better.

Historic Successful Valencia Bike Lanes to be Modified in 2018 The Grand Plan according to San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency determined South Van Ness Avenue would handle car traffic, Mission Street would handle buses, and Valencia would become a major bike throughput. Those plans, however, came before the rise of ride-hails Uber and Lyft.

Dockless Bicycle GPS App Bikes Coming Parking Allowed in a public bike rack or the “furniture zone” of the sidewalk. GPS tracking, online payments, automated locking, the bikes provide, in essence, a new form of transportation.

The “furniture zone” of sidewalks, the area closest to the curb, where benches, kiosks, trees and utility poles are allowed. The surge is due to tech money getting behind the Chinese technology which has considerably expanded the use of urban bicycles. San Francisco's response to new wave of innovation with the dockless bicycles in the application is large fee increases

The experience in China opened with the new technology resulting in a well publicized glut of players leading to abandoned piles of bikes but that was a short-lived chapter. The elimination of docking stations, creating a broadly distributed system, has the clear capability of significantly increasing adoption rates with bikes that are more accessible and affordable to all. The adoption rate of the station based bicycles has been disappointing. This new technology, especially the e-bikes, has the potential to create a biking culture celebrated in cities like Davis CA and Amsterdam in the Netherlands. The board will consider a parking permit for car-share services such as Zipcar very soon.

The Motivate Ford GoBikes have exclusive rights to operate bike sharing programs in public right-of-ways in those San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose, spokeswoman Dani Simons told the Mercury News.

Social E-Bicycles/Jump

JUMP is ​San Francisco's first electric-assist bike share system​. The system is currently a private network partnering with community organizations and businesses. On June 27 2017 Jump launched ahead of the GoBike competition by giving the residents of the Mission and Bayview early access Brooklyn operator of bike sharing in 27 cities introduced a demonstration mode in June and hopes its E-bike can jump ahead of the competition which includes Scoot. The integrated lock will means users can leave the bikes at any bike rack in the hopefully soon to be defined zone, Leaving outside the system area will incur substantial fees. The company will be setting up charging stations, and will credit riders who take the bikes to one of these stations and plug them in although the bike is rideable when the charge is gone. Having an E-boost on the hills of San Francisco will be welcome

JUMP or Social Bicycles is expanding in San Mateo after GoBike passed on including them in their initial roll-out. Check out pricing model at

New York City Excited about E-Bikes

E-Bikes are Disrupting Mobility in Manhattan NY where the e-bike ban is not working and politicians are looking for scapegoats as the fast disruptive change inevitably brings complaints.

LimeBike a dollar can get you around town based in San Mateo with local tech funding and Chinese technology. LimeBike has foam core tires that aren’t at risk of deflating; a large metal basket for carrying cargo; an on-board solar panel and smart lock. Customers will pay $1 for every 30 minutes of use. They can fire up LimeBike’s mobile app to locate a nearby bike, use a QR code to unlock the bike, then lock it up, freestanding, at their destination. The bikes have a center kickstand, so users won’t have to chain them to street signs or racks. Locked LimeBike bicycles sound an alarm when you try to move them, and they use custom parts, giving thieves less of an incentive to steal them and strip them down.Unlike Jump which allows reservations, LimeBikes are first come, first serve. So if you see a nearby bike on the map, it’s yours to ride!

SPIN Now in South City [Image courtesy of Spin] based in San Francisco, looks forward to working with the city “to develop a path forward that works for everyone, so that all San Franciscans can enjoy the ease, affordability and equity of stationless bikesharing,” Spin users can scan the QR code into a Spin mobile app to unlock a bike and start the meter. Pricing should be around $1 for every 30 minutes, approximately. The bikes will be bright orange, 6-speed bikes with 26” wheels, frame locks, a step-through frame, a basket affixed, as well as Dynamo hub powered lights (which don’t need a battery to work), theft-resistant screws and solid foam tires.

When and How these Bikes will be Available in San Francisco is Unknown Spin and LimeBike, simultaneously launched dueling fleets of bikes in South San Francisco on August 8, 2017. Already Mountain View, San Mateo, and San Ramon have similar programs, with fleets coming soon in Sacramento and Santa Cruz. So far Spin, LimeBike and Social Bicycles have submitted applications, but no one has yet been granted a permit, said Ben Jose, spokesman for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. The SFMTAis still working with the City Attorney’s Office to determine what the Motivate Ford/GoBike contractual exclusivity provision means for competing startups

Seattle Embracing Stationless Bikes Bay Area's Spin & Limebike joined by OFO following a boondoggle via Motivate startup

Ofo, a Chinese company that bills itself as the world’s largest stationless bike share, will join a huge expansion to over 5000 stationless bikes during the Fall of 2017. Ofo started in Beijing in 2014 and now operates in more than 170 cities in China, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Kazakhstan and the United Kingdom and just received an infustion of $700 million in private funding. The company says it has more than 8 million bicycles worldwide and more than 100 million users.

The failed prior system was called Pronto! and was initially operated by Motivate. Some finger the demise as a combination of climate and geography but others suggest the need for helmets and nonexistant docking was too problematic to achieve critical mass. A proposal for a city operated e-bike system was defeated.

Mobike's tough touch technology Mobike, the largest player in China has launched in Manchester UK, as its first City outside Asia, in June 2017 Five million Mobikes are in circulation, and the company claims to be able to manufacture 100,000 more every day. The bikes are built to last four years with no maintenance, with shaft-driven single-speed transmission hidden inside the bike to turn the wheels instead of a chain; airless foam tires and wheels made out of indestructable aluminium magnesium alloy.

Regional Transit Initiative - Bridge Toll Increase

Will Dumbarton be the Desperately Need Next Bay Crossing ? Each dollar added to the bridge tolls is estimated to generate roughly $127 million annually, or about $4.2 billion over a 25-year period — if the tolls are raised by $3.