Ford Gobike and San Francisco are teaming up to provide free bikeshare to San Francisco State University students. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Ford Gobike and San Francisco are teaming up to provide free bikeshare to San Francisco State University students. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Lyft and SF partner to offer free bikeshare for SFSU students

About 550 San Francisco State University students — including some of its poorest — will soon be able to rent Ford GoBike bicycles for free.

The City will pay for the first two years of the pilot program to provide free bikeshare, but afterward Lyft will pay for it, the company told the San Francisco Examiner.

The San Francisco County Transportation Authority board approved $56,000 for the program at its regular meeting Tuesday, on the condition that Lyft commit to regularly funding the program in the future at the same amount.

Previously, Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who chairs the SFCTA board, blocked city funding for the bike rental giveaway, arguing that Lyft is a multi-billion dollar company with pockets deep enough to help impoverished students.

Ultimately, this month the SFCTA gave Lyft a deadline of June 1, 2019 to commit to fund the free bike program.

Responding to inquiries from the Examiner this week, Lyft has confirmed it now plans to do exactly that.

“Yes, Lyft is committed to funding for transportation equity and looks forward to working with partners to support this program in the future,” Lyft spokesperson Lauren Alexander said.

SEE RELATED: Free bike rental program for SF State students threatened after Lyft buys bikeshare company

Ford GoBike docks dot San Francisco’s eastern neighborhoods but have yet to penetrate far into the west side, where SFSU’s main campus lies. But transportation authority planners said Tuesday that in “early 2019” two new Ford GoBike docks would bring the rentable bikes to the south west corner of San Francisco near SFSU. The two-year pilot program would offer “Bikeshare for All” memberships to students, which are the low-income memberships.

Earlier this year, SFSU asked the transportation authority for $56,000 to help fund a two-year pilot program to provide free bikeshare to 400 Federal Pell Grant-eligible students, who qualify for the grants by falling into low-income brackets, and for 150 non-Pell Grant-eligible students. About 300 single month passes will also be provided to some students.

Peskin, who has often been painted as a hardliner in his call for tougher regulations of ride-hail companies like Lyft, ultimately voted to approve the funding for free bikeshare on Tuesday.

He told the Examiner it’s part of a kindlier, friendlier relationship between City Hall and the once pink-mustachioed company.

“We’re all trying to get along,” he said. “We’re showing good faith.” educationTransit

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

The charismatic Adarsh Gourav, left, and Priyanka Chopra Jonas star in “The White Tiger,” Ramin Bahrani’s adaptation of the novel by Aravind Adiga.<ins> (Courtesy Netflix)</ins>
‘White Tiger’ takes in-depth look at India’s caste system

‘Identifying Features’ depicts human effects of Mexico’s drug wars

A health care worker receives the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. (Go Nakamura/Getty Images/TNS)
City sets ambitious goal to vaccinate residents by June

Limited supply slows distribution of doses as health officials seek to expand access

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden and Jill Biden arrive at Biden's inauguration on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2021, in Washington, DC.  (Win McNamee/Getty Images/TNS)
Joe Biden issues call for ‘unity’ amidst extreme partisan rancor

‘I will be a president for all Americans,’ he says in inauguration speech

MARIETTA, GA - NOVEMBER 15: Democratic U.S. Senate candidates Jon Ossoff (R) and Raphael Warnock (L) of Georgia taps elbows during a rally for supporters on November 15, 2020 in Marietta, Georgia. Both become senators Wednesday.  (Jenny Jarvie/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
Vice President Harris swears in senators Padilla, Warnock, Ossoff

New Democratic senators tip balance of power in upper legislative house

President Joe Biden plans to sign a number of executive orders over the next week. (Biden Transition/CNP/Zuma Press/TNS)
Biden signals new direction by signing mask order on his first day in office

President plans ambitious 10-day push of executive orders, legislation

Most Read