The demand for more dockless bikes is growing and evident in an updated report from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s 18-month pilot program.

Jamie Parks, director of the SFMTA’s Livable Streets, gave the SFMTA Board of Directors on Tuesday a midpoint review of the pilot program as the pilot program approaches its ninth month in October and when the transit agency’s director of transportation can increase the total cap of the dockless bikes on the streets from 250 to 500 for the remainder of the pilot.

The Presidio Trust authorized an additional 50 dockless bikes from Jump earlier this month in The Presidio, which is on federal land.

Jump was awarded the first and only permit to launch its dockless electric bikes in The City back in January of this year.

Parks said staff evaluated the pilot by seeing if Jump had followed the terms of the conditions so far, making sure bikes are locked onto bike racks, and making sure bikes are distributed in low-income neighborhoods.

The SFMTA also collected usage data and comparing the findings to people who use the Ford GoBike system.

Parks said within the the first seven months of the pilot, the transit agency saw an average of 2,250 trips being taken by users on a weekday:

“We did see a lot of demand for the Jump bike system.”

Each Jump bike is making about eight to 10 trips a day while bike from Ford GoBike is about one to two trips a day, said Parks.

He said the electric motor differentiates itself from the traditional pedal bike, which may be why more people are taking more trips on Jump bikes.

The data also showed 38,000 unique users riding on Jump bikes and the average trip length is 2.6 miles.

There are still some concerns from the public and users about the Jump bikes, said Parks.

One of them being that the JUMP bikes are taking up the public bike racks for other people to park their bikes.

“Figuring out how we pair our bike parking program to any increase in stationless bike share I think will be a really important part of continuing evaluating the pilot.”

SFMTA board Director Lee Hsu said with the possibility of the expansion of JUMP bikes and powered scooters possibly using the bike racks, companies can help pay for additional racks.

Currently, the SFMTA installs about 600 bike racks per year. Parks said private contributions would be helpful to increase the number of bike racks especially if the transit agency allows for more dockless vehicles on city streets in the future.

Parks also said the transit agency wants to see an increase in the number of people signed up for JUMP’s BOOST plan for low-income users.

The plan offers a $5 annual fee for users to rent a JUMP bike for 60 minutes a day and does the require the use of the mobile app.

There are currently 225 users signed up for the low-income program.

The transit agency will also be monitoring to see if JUMP bikes can better service low-income communities better when the expansion of bikes occurs.

Ed Reiskin, the SFMTA’s director of transportation, expects to make a formal decision on the expansion of JUMP bikes by Oct. 9, the transit agency said.

Jerold Chinn
Jerold Chinn is the San Francisco Bureau Chief of SFBay. A San Francisco native, he has spent a decade covering transportation in San Francisco. Send tips to jerold@sfbay.ca or at Twitter @Jerold_Chinn.

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