Bike Share

The City of Oakland's bike share program, now called Bay Wheels, is operated by Lyft. The regional docked system, previously known as Ford GoBike, launched in July 2017. In July 2019, Lyft is renaming these bikes Bay Wheels, adding a new fleet of dockless electric bikes, and expanding its service area to include all of Oakland by Spring 2020. In May 2019, the City launched its adaptive bike share pilot.

Bike Share Image
Date Posted: August 31st, 2018 @ 3:44 PM
Last Updated: January 20th, 2021 @ 8:04 PM

Program Overview

Bay Wheels (previously called Ford GoBike) is a membership-based transportation service, which allows members to make point-to-point trips using shared bicycles.

As a regional program, the cities of San Francisco, San Jose, Emeryville, and Berkeley also have shared bicycles for use under one membership.

Why Bike Sharing?

Bike sharing reduces demand for private vehicles, decreases per capita greenhouse-gas emissions and offers another travel option for all Oaklanders. Recent studies show that use of bike sharing can:

• Fill the critical gap between BART stations or bus stops and the user's final destination
• Improve our physical and mental health
• Reduce automobile congestion and improve air quality

How it Works

Bike share pricing is set up for short-term, point-to-point trips. If you plan on using a bicycle for an extended period of time, we encourage you to rent a bike at a local bike shop or rental business.

Bike Share for All - Reduced Fare Program

Members who qualify for the PG&E’s CARE (California Alternate Rates for Energy) or Cal Fresh SNAP program qualify for the low-income reduced-price membership ($5 introductory membership). Cash payment centers are also available at Bike Share for All.

ADA Accessibility

The Bay Wheels Adaptive Bike Share Pilot is no longer active. The program operated from May to November 2019. Several types of adaptive bikes were available for use by riders with physical abilities.

Click here for more details.

History, Timeline, and Community Outreach

Bay Area Bike Share was officially launched in the San Francisco Bay Area in August 2013. The pilot program included 700 bikes and 70 stations in San Francisco, San Jose, Redwood City, Palo Alto and Mountain View. As of March 1, 2015, the system yielded a total of 485,000 trips in the five pilot cities; riders in San Francisco took 436,000 trips overall, 90 percent of the total.

In February of 2015, "Motivate," the private company that is the current bike share vendor for the Bay Area Bike Share program, made an unsolicited proposal to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and select Bay Area cities to be the exclusive supplier and operator of bike share in the Bay Area at no public cost. Motivate's proposal for the Bay Area includes an expansion of the existing system to a total of 7,000 bikes throughout the region with 850 new bikes in 70 new stations to be located in Oakland. MTC entered into an agreement with Motivate as the exclusive supplier and operator of bike share in the Bay Area on May 27, 2015. The Ford Motor Company is the title sponsor for the program.

Partial funding for staff support provided by the Alameda County Transportation Commission and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

In 2018, ride-share company, Lyft, acquired Motivate, the vendor the the Ford GoBike program. With this acquisition, the program is no longer sponsored by Ford Motor Company and the bikes are now named Bay Wheels. In addition, the system is expanding beyond the station-based model to include dockless electric-assist pedal bikes and reservation integration with the Lyft ride-share app. In July 2019, Lyft was also granted a permit to operate shared e-scooters in Oakland.