Map of the nearby Ford GoBike stations in District 5. Visit the Ford GoBike website to see near-live availability of bikes and parking stations.

With bicycle ridership always on the upswing (per SFMTA data) new bike-sharing (and electric-scooter sharing programs!) are expanding throughout the city.
A report by the Association of Bay Area Governments points out that San Francisco will gain more than 100,000 new households and more than 190,000 new jobs by 2040—all filled by people who will continue to congest roads—either by car or alternative forms of transportation. San Francisco’s 7x7 terrain limits the amount of potential street space, so the growth of bicycle ridership, walking, and transit trips are critical to accommodate growth.
Note: At the same time, many people point to the growth of bicycle infrastructure as a sign of gentrification, or accuse bike-sharing programs of only serving white tech workers, responding with vandalism and outrage. You can learn more about these issues in future articles or elsewhere online. Out of the transportation options reviewed in this article, Ford GoBike and Lime Bike are the only ones with reduced payment options, reviewed later in this article.
San Francisco has been a cars-rule-the-road city for a long time, but organizations like the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and Walk SF are working to make it more safe to walk or bike around the city. With one-way ride dropoff options, its hard to beat the convenience of these services, especially if you live in an area with congested traffic during commute hours. These are some of the programs either currently available or coming soon to the Bay:

Ford GoBike
Since 2013, San Francisco has been home to the Bay Area Bike Share, a pilot program that provided 700 bikes and 70 stations across San Francisco and San Jose. The program changed hands to Ford GoBike in 2017, with the bike population growing tenfold to 7,000 bike share bicycles serving San Francisco, the East Bay, and San Jose. The company anticipates becoming “an essential part” of the Bay Area’s transportation network. Ford GoBike is operated by Motivate, a full-service bike share operator that manages fleets across the United States, including the City Bike system (New York and Jersey City), Divvy (Chicago), BIKETOWN (Portland), and more.

How does it work?
The Fort GoBike bike share system maintains a fleet of bikes designed to be sturdy and durable. They can be accessed from docking stations throughout the city and can be unlocked from one station and returned to any other station in the system, in an effort to be ideal for one-way trips. Common use cases for the bike share system includes commuting to work or school, running errands, getting to appointments or social engagements, and more. Due to the pricing structure, these bikes are not ideal for trips longer than 30 minutes.
To access the bike, riders simply have to either become a member or purchase a day pass. The bikes are then accessible 24 hours per day 365 days per year.

JUMP bikes (neon-red bikes with front baskets) are the first electric bikes to hit the streets, albeit illegally. Ran by Social Bicycles, which has bike sharing programs in 27 cities, San Francisco is the first to see the e-bike version, but the bikes are not permitted in San Francisco yet. Ford GoBike has a public right-of-way in the cities where it operates, so SFMTA has to figure out the bike sharing permits and what exclusivity means with Motivate. If you can get on a JUMP bike you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the electric motor that’ll help you ascend hills with ease.
The 100 pilot bikes you may have already seen on the streets are part of a UC Berkeley research grant awarded by the Federal Highway Administration, which is “focused on understanding how people will use electric bicycles compared to other types of transportation” (, although Social Bicycles bought the bikes rather than using the grant. The organization partnered with nonprofits and community organizations to give residents of the Mission and Bayview early access to the fleet. During the preview period, the bikes are free to use. You can join a waitlist for the access list by visiting

Lime Bike
Like JUMP bikes, LimeBike bikes are stainless. The company is based out of San Mateo and available currently in San Mateo. They are not launching until they receive permits from the city, which are currently under review. Once launched, they will be targeting tourists and commuters who work downtown, as well as areas that are not currently served by the Ford GoBike program. Overall their goal is to be affordable and accessible, so they will especially target low-income communities in western and southern neighborhoods.

You have probably seen an influx of red scooters driven by riders adorned with a helmet, further identifiable by the thunderbolt-insignia. These are electric scooters, released upon the streets by the startup Scoot. Their fleet is made up of about 500 electric scooters, which can be picked up and dropped off all over San Francisco (within the Scoot zone). Every few months they plan to add more Scoots to the fleet.
The “Scoots” electricity runs on electricity at a rate equivalent to 600 MPG. A toaster uses about twice as much power to operate when the Scoot travels at 25 MPH (according to the Scoot website). To be further green, nearly every component of a scoot is recyclable, including the battery.

How does it work?
New Scoot riders need a valid US drivers license and a credit card. Unlike the Ford GoBike program, Scoot does not accept cash or pre-paid cards due to their billing structure. Riders needs to be at least 18 years old with a clean driving record. To reserve a Scoot, riders log into the app, find a nearby Scoot (the app helps you find nearby Scoots and shows how far their “range”—how many miles it can go based on the battery’s juice, then simply turn on the Scoot with their phone. The Scoots all have two sizes of helmets tucked away in the cargo container. When riding a Scoot, the company suggests wearing the helmet, gloves, long sleeves, pants, and closed toe shoes.
Once riding, the Scoots can be left anywhere within the blue zone visible in the Scoot app, which covers much of the city excluding the outskirts.

Low Income Options
Ford GoBike provides unlimited usage (first 60 minutes of each ride) to qualifying Bay Area residents for $5 annually. The program is called “Bike Share for All” and is available to anyone in the Bay Area ages 18 or older who qualifies for Calfresh, SFTMA (low income) lifeline passes, or PG&E CARE utility discounts. Residents can even pay this one-time $5 fee in cash at various locations. Enrollment hours are available at this link:
JUMP Bikes are currently free for those who are accepted into the pilot program.
LimeBike will offer a 50% discount to any riders with a .edu email address. (Register for free to City College!)
Scoot offers an “unlimited” 30-minute ride version for $99.
For more information (and links), visit

Upcoming classes:

Intro to Urban Bicycling Workshop with Ford GoBike
Saturday, September 16 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Visit SFBC website to register

Intro to Urban Bicycling Workshop with Ford GoBike
Wednesday, October 25 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Visit SFBC website to register