Brewing bikeshare battle may threaten SF’s Ford GoBike contract

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

Harrison17th

These unpopular GoBikes line 17th Street line in the Mission with private corporate bikes,  removing parking for everyone, including private bike owners. They are blessed by SFMTA’s private deal with Motivate. photo by zrants

It’s not just a bump in the road. The latest conflict between stationless bikeshare companies and San Francisco has seemingly hit a full-on obstacle course.

San Francisco’s transportation agency is preparing to issue its first permit to a competitor of Ford GoBike, potentially threatening a contract between the Bay Area and the $65 billion Ford Motor Company…

Technically, the contract is not with Ford, it is with Motivate, owned and operated by Related. Motivate has an $8 million deal with Ford. See details on that deal or look it up yourself: Holding Company that owns GoBikes

But that permit allegedly runs afoul of an exclusivity contract Ford entered into with The City, along with its administrator of the bikeshare program, Motivate…

Though no entity has formally sued another, the possible threat of legal action from Motivate and Ford has allegedly driven the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to begin a “dispute resolution process” between the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and Bay Area Motivate LLC, according to sources with knowledge of the situation…

Though no entity has formally sued another, the possible threat of legal action from Motivate and Ford has allegedly driven the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to begin a “dispute resolution process” between the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and Bay Area Motivate LLC, according to sources with knowledge of the situation… (more)

Here we appear to have fight over a yet-to-be-developed market. Where is the research that proves the public is anxious to rent bikes? How many people want to ride bikes who don’t own their own? Why has MTC and SFMTA involved SF voters in a complicated legal battle over a clientele that does not exist in an effort to remove public parking from the streets? Don’t they have a Muni service to run?

Why did the MTC and SFMTA sign exclusive deals (not sure these rise to the level of being legal contracts) with private entities without public knowledge or input? Why were the voters and residents left in the dark until the blue bikes appeared on the street? Do the voters prefer GoBikes and Scoots in their neighborhood or residential parking permits? Think about this as you think about who you want to represent you at City Hall.

Small Business Commission Meeting

Email notice from the Small Business Commission:

Monday, May 9, 5:30 PM – agenda
City Hall Room 400 Small Business Commission Meeting
with SFMTA presenting. They want merchant feedback. Let’s give them feedback.

Dear business leaders:
key agenda items for Monday’s meeting highlights:

Presentation San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA)  This is the first of what will be the regularly schedule presentations every two months at the small business commission.  One of the key objectives is for the Commission to review projects from the small business lens and allow the business community to weight in an official environment.   It is important for the Commission to hear from the business community around the projects that affect your business and business areas.   

Presenters:
Candace Sue, Communications Director – Overview of Agency and Projects
Deanna Desedas, Public Outreach & Engagement Manager
Craig Raphael and Sophia Forde – 5 Capital Improvement Program
Mari Hunter – Lombard Street Improvement Project
Sean Kennedy – 14 Mission Street Rapid Project
Kathryn Studwell – RPP / Residential Parking Permits