A bike sharing station on Telegraph Avenue at Ashby, one of five in Berkeley. Photo: Natalie Orenstein

With the launch of bike sharing in Berkeley Tuesday morning, cyclists can now pick up a ride in one location and drop it off in another, without dealing with the hassles of schlepping and storing their bikes.

The reincarnation of Bay Area Bike Share, Ford GoBike, has so far brought five stations to Berkeley, and will expand the system throughout the East Bay, San Francisco and the South Bay this summer and afterward.

Bike sharing in the East Bay is years in the making, and there are are plans to bring 1,500 of the blue branded Ford GoBikes to the region this summer. When the program is fully implemented, there will be 7,000 bikes in the system throughout the Bay Area, according to FordGoBike.

Most of Berkeley’s new docking stations are clustered around downtown and UC Berkeley, with one in South Berkeley. A station map shows the many other planned locations throughout the city. The locations were determined using public input from community meetings and an online survey.

Five new Berkeley Ford GoBike stations are the first of several planned for the city. Photo: screenshot from Ford GoBike

Ford GoBike users can rent a bike on the spot at a station, or use an app to more quickly find and rent one. Single 30-minute rides cost $3, or there are $10 day passes available for unlimited 30-minute trips or $149 annual memberships for unlimited 45-minute trips. There are low-fee passes available for low-income riders. The program pulled a promised longer-term rental pass when it got pushback from bike rental companies.

Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín, who took a ride on a Ford GoBike along with Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and East Bay cyclists Tuesday morning, said in his State of the City address Monday that bike sharing will help Berkeley reach its climate goals.

New bike share system on Allston Way. Photo: Ted Friedman
Close up of bike share system. Photo: Ted Friedman

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) program is sponsored by Ford and operated by Motivate, which runs most bike share systems across the country. Ford GoBike replaces Bay Area Bike Share, the MTC pilot program launched in 2013 that brought a smaller teal fleet to San Francisco and the South Bay.

The new Berkeley station locations are: University Avenue at Oxford Street, Allston Way at Milvia Street, Fulton Street at Bancroft Way, Haste Street at Telegraph Avenue and Telegraph at Ashby Avenue.

Natalie Orenstein reports on housing and homelessness for The Oaklandside. Natalie was a Berkeleyside staff reporter from early 2017 to May 2020. She had previously contributed to the site since 2012,...