Uber’s partnership with Jump could put the future of station-less bikes in San Francisco at risk

By n : recode – excerpt

Uber users will be able to book a Jump bike from the Uber app.

Dockless bike-sharing company Jump just became the first U.S.-based company to work with a ride-hail app. Soon, San Franciscans will be able to locate the nearest Jump bike straight from the Uber app making it easier to plan out the first and last mile of trips.

However, the splashy announcement could put pressure on a pilot program that is stretched thin by design. Jump, which received its permit to operate an 18-month pilot in San Francisco in January, can only provide 250 of its station-less bikes in the city.

Opening up those 250 bikes to Uber users in the city, in addition to the customers separately using the Jump app, would exacerbate demand in a city with more than 850,000 residents. The partnership might undercut the viability of this new form of bike-sharing…

Additionally, Jump is the only dockless bike provider that has been granted a permit by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority and can only operate e-bikes — a stipulation that came out of a settlement with incumbent stationary bike-share service Ford GoBike. The network, which is run and operated by New York-based company Motivate, is sponsored by Ford…

Through the pilot, the SFMTA intends to evaluate the efficacy and merits of starting a dock-less bike-sharing program. However, competing companies LimeBike and Ofo as well as some city supervisors including Malia Cohen of San Francisco’s 10th district and Ahsha Safai of the 11th district have questioned whether this pilot could in fact hurt the industry…

The SFMTA asked these companies to provide real-time location information for all of the bikes in their fleet.

However, LimeBike contends they did meet that requirement but also expressed their concerns with this process of data-sharing.

The LimeBike application reads:…“Most importantly, we believe this exposes the citizens of San Francisco (and the City & County of San Francisco) to unnecessary risks. With current technology, someone with the right skills can identify a person with as little as four location data points, even with the data otherwise anonymized, so sharing that data openly will pose significant privacy and security concerns.”

For now, the companies have been effectively banned from operating in San Francisco for the duration of this pilot, straining a relationship that will be integral to the proliferation of station-less bike-sharing in the city… (move)

Pressure by local citizens to change the course at SFMTA may effect unpopular pilot projects and exclusive deals the department is cutting with their favorite partners. What are the deal makers, getting out of these partnerhsips? How heavily invested are City Hall authorities invested in the new technologies that are disrupting our city? How healthy are these public/private partnerships as we question our ability to live private lives free from over-brearing government interference?

San Francisco is not for sale. You read the entire article that describe the corporate structures and public/private agreements SFMTA has involved San Francisco in. Some city officials’ are concerned. We assume there will be some ethics complaints filed soon regarding this matter.

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BART police want to read your license plate

By Erin Baldassari : mercurynews – excerpt

OAKLAND — BART police have quietly purchased and installed two automatic license plate readers at the MacArthur station and hope to launch a pilot program with the aim of eventually installing the technology at every station.

BART Deputy Police Chief Ben Fairow, who plans to present the pilot program to the transit agency’s board of directors Thursday, said the automated license plate readers, a tool that has proliferated in police departments across the Bay Area, could be especially useful in solving property crimes. But privacy and civil rights advocates are concerned about how long BART will retain the collected data, how that data will be used, and who is being surveilled…

Under a new state law, Senate Bill 34, the department has to present the proposal to the public for comment but is otherwise free to implement the technology.

The lack of public oversight is a problem, said Tessa D’Arcangelew, a technology and civil liberties organizer with the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California. D’Arcangelew would like to see BART police first complete a surveillance impact report, which would include a cost-benefit analysis, and look at potential harms of using the technology before the department decides to implement it… (more)

 

S.F. Muni cameras to look for abnormal behavior

By Rachel Gordon : SFChronicle – excerpt

A network of high-tech surveillance cameras programmed to detect unusual behavior and alert authorities will be installed in the Muni Metro subway system.

(The City Insider wonders, however, how the system will decipher what’s normal weird, and what’s truly weird on Muni.)

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We wonder the same thing? Is SF spending too much money on “smart systems” that kill jobs? They don’t need people for anything except spending money. Now they will have to figure out how to get people to spend money when the computers have taken all the jobs. Maybe we should adopt a computer and take home its pay.