Ford GoBikes announce San Jose expansion

Ford GoBike announced a planned expansion Thursday in San Jose and a partnership with Alaska Airlines at San Jose’s San Pedro Square Market.

The Ford-sponsored program, which allows users to rent bikes from one rental location to another within a certain timeframe, will grow from the current 34 stations in the South Bay city to 80 by the end of 2018, according to Ford officials.

The partnership with Alaska Airlines, which sponsors all of the stations in San Jose, will give riders 10 Alaska Mileage Plan miles for each time they ride the bike.

The program is managed by Motivate. Its CEO Jay Walder Thursday stressed the importance of the connection of the program between different cities in the region:

“It should be one integrated bike-share program that we have. … We should know we have the pleasure of riding a bike to the train station here, getting on that train, getting off that train and taking a bike on the other end, and it’s all part of the same membership in doing it.”

This year, the city of San Jose has installed 35 miles of dedicated bike lanes, a city record, Mayor Sam Liccardo said today, acknowledging that the program is unique to a city like San Jose:

“Usually bike-sharing and transit and things like that work a little better in high-density cities, so this is a big risk, coming to a pretty suburban-looking place like San Jose.”

The mayor also acknowledged that with high-rise developments being constructed near San Pedro Square Market, and the expanded bike-share program could be critical to the area once they’re completed:

“This is where we are going to, and having bike-share here is so critical to much of what ails us, whether it’s congestion, climate change, whether it’s needing to get some exercise, we know bike-share can be a critical solution.”

The program is currently available in five Bay Area cities: San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Emeryville and Berkeley. The program is available for as low as $5 per for the first year of membership for individuals who qualify for low-income programs like Cal Fresh or a PG&E Care Utility discount. The membership includes the first 60-minutes of riding and the price goes up to $3 for every 15 minutes after that.

Without a low-income discount, the price is $3 for a 30-minute trip to point A and B, $10 for a day pass and unlimited 30-minute point-to-point trips and $149 for an annual membership and unlimited 45-minute point-to-point trips.