Micromobility in San Francisco

A project to understand where and how bike and scooter sharing systems are dispersed across the city, and how those areas change over time. There are two ways that these services are constrained geographically:

  • Geographic Service Areas (or Geofences) displayed graphically as polygons within which bikes or scooters may be parked at the end of trips and located to begin trips. There are generally penalty fees charged to the rider if a trip ends outside of these geofences. Geofences vary by operator, and displayed below are those for JUMP Bikes, Scoot Scooters, and Skip Scooters.
  • Bikeshare Stations or Docks displayed graphically as points. This is the case for the Ford GoBike system, which has physical stations throughout San Francisco where bike trips begin and must end. This is not a current reflection of how many bikes are located at each station.

2019 Geofences & Bikeshare Stations

2018 Geofences & Bikeshare Stations

Micromobility is a new term that includes bike and scooter sharing systems. These interactive maps have been created to shed light on the current and past geographic service areas (or geofences) of micromobility services in San Francisco, CA. The above maps display individual geofences by year (2019 vs. 2018) and the map below displays the composite or overall geofence for each year (excluding Ford GoBike stations). The latter map includes a layer displaying "Communities of Concern," as determined by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). From this vantage point, even as each individual geofence has expanded over time, the overall coverage has not increased significantly.

Overall Geofence Coverage (2018 vs. 2019)

In terms of methods, the geofence polygon and point layers were created in Carto, and the custom basemap was created in Mapbox Studio. I mapped Ford GoBike station expansion by using their System Data Portal, and developed the geofence polygons for Scoot, Skip, and JUMP from permit applications and mobile application screenshots (displayed below). It is important to note that changes to a service's geofence (or expansion of Ford GoBike stations) do not necessarily take place in uniform time increments, which means that what is considered the "2018 Geofence" does not mean that that polygon was in place for the entirety of that year. At the bottom of the page are links to relevant news articles which indicate roughly at what times certain geofences changed or bikeshare stations were added. This project is part of my doctoral research at UC Berkeley in the department of city and regional planning.

These maps are works in progress, and I welcome feedback on ways to improve them. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, you can reach me at moranm@berkeley.edu or contact me here.

2019 Smartphone Application Screenshots (Sources)

JUMP

Ford GoBike

Skip

Scoot

2018 Smartphone Application Screenshots (Sources)

JUMP

Ford GoBike

Skip

Scoot

Pre-2018 Sources (Prior to the Issuance of Scooter Permits)

JUMP (White Polygons)

Ford GoBike

N/A

N/A

Related News Coverage:

JUMP Electric Bikes Coming to Presidio, San Francisco Chronicle, August 31, 2018.

Scoot, Skip Selected for S.F. Scooter Pilot Program, SF Weekly, August 30, 2018.

JUMP Bikes to Launch Dockless, Electric Bikeshare in San Francisco, San Jose Mercury News, January 17, 2018

Ford GoBike Expands in San Francisco (But Not All of It), Citylab, August 4, 2017.

Electric Bike-Share Rides into SF, Jumping Ahead of Ford GoBike, San Francisco Chronicle, June 27, 2017