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When a Neighborhood Says No to Bike Share

A corporate sponsorship from Ford is giving the Bay Area’s bike share program a big boost. But not every community wants in.
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Bike sharing is set to go big in the Bay Area: Breaking ground this summer, Ford GoBike will blow up San Francisco’s existing 700 bike pilot program into a 7,000 bike super-system that reaches across San Francisco, the East Bay, and San Jose.

The bike-sharing expansion is operated by the firm Motivate, which runs systems in several major cities, and will be supported in part by a 10-year sponsorship from the automobile manufacturer, plus additional sponsorships and membership and usage fees. Combine that with the ability to link a membership to region-wide Clipper transit card and an affordability and access initiative called Bike Share For All, the project aims to turn bike sharing from a tourist amenity into a major regional transportation solution for a wider range of residents in this increasingly unaffordable city.