Gotcha Mobility Recommended for Bike Share Pilot Program in Sonoma and Marin Counties
SAN RAFAEL and SANTA ROSA, CA–
A bike share pilot program in Marin and Sonoma is taking shape and the firm Gotcha Mobility (Gotcha) will be recommended as the operator of the program. The Sonoma County Transportation Authority and Transportation Authority of Marin received a grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to make bike share available along the SMART corridor and are now ready to award a contract.
Gotcha, a bike share and mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) company based in Charleston, S.C., is expanding its presence in California through several bike share systems. The Marin-Sonoma bike share pilot program will allow the company to operate in cities along the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) corridor through a network of shared electric bikes. Under a cooperative agreement between TAM and SCTA, SCTA will serve as the contracting entity for bike sharing services. On February 10, 2020, the SCTA Board of Directors will consider the recommendation to approve an agreement with Gotcha. Once approved, the planning work will kick off immediately.
An evaluation panel recommended Gotcha following an extensive and highly competitive proposal process. SCTA and TAM staff have worked with Gotcha on a roll-out plan that includes a minimum of 300 GPS-enabled e-bikes and three years of operations. Riders will be able to access the bikes at hubs around SMART stations by using a smart phone app. The bikes will feature RFID card readers that are compatible with Clipper® cards to make sure the system is accessible for riders without smart phones. The vision of the program is to provide a new, innovative and environmentally friendly solution for people to get to and from SMART stations and around town.
Susan Gorin, SCTA’s Chair stated, “We’re excited to launch a new zero-emission transportation option that residents can try and enjoy. It is part of the work we need to do to rethink transportation in the North Bay.”
Judy Arnold, Chair of TAM, noted, “We are committed to trying new methods of connecting residents and commuters to transit and to jobs and this program will build on the options today.”
Anne Richman, TAM’s Executive Director stated, “The bike share program will expand mobility options in the North Bay by providing an effective way for people to get to and from transit. The program will span many communities in two counties and is a collaborative effort.”
MTC Commissioner and SCTA Board Member from Rohnert Park, Jake Mackenzie commented that, “This new bikeshare system will make new types of trips possible for residents and better connect SMART with the communities it serves.”
“We are excited to provide a bike share program for Sonoma and Marin counties,” said Sean Flood, Chief Executive Officer of Gotcha. “Our goal is to provide an affordable and convenient solution for first/last mile commuters at SMART rail stations and reduces the use of single occupancy cars.”
Gotcha will lead the first steps of program development through a technical demand analysis and siting evaluation to determine where the bikes will be located. This will determine the number of bikes in each area, and the permitting required; though bikes are anticipated to be located near SMART stations and other key destinations in Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Cotati, Petaluma, Novato, San Rafael, and Larkspur. Additional properties and jurisdictions may be identified through the technical demand analysis.
Gotcha will make an announcement when the program will officially launch. Until then, the company will be preparing for the bikes’ deployment. For more information, visit https://ridegotcha.com/bike/.
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About Sonoma County Transportation Authority: The SCTA acts as the countywide planning and fund programming agency for transportation and performs a variety of important functions related to advocacy, project management, planning, finance, grant administration and research. The SCTA coordinates the activities of local jurisdictions with regional, state and federal entities at both a policy and administrative level. As a coordination agency, the SCTA provides a forum for local elected officials to engage in dialog on countywide issues and enables discussions among local and regional entities on a wide range of issues that link to the movement of people and goods, program management and project delivery. More information is available at www.scta.ca.gov.
About Transportation Authority of Marin: TAM administers the expenditure plans for Measure AA, the ½-cent sales tax measure renewed in 2018, and Measure B, the $10 Vehicle Registration Fee approved in 2010. TAM also serves as Marin’s Congestion Management Agency and is responsible for coordinating funding for transportation projects and programs to improve mobility, reduce congestion, and provide a transportation system with more options for those living, working, learning and traveling in Marin County. More information is available at www.tam.ca.gov.
About Gotcha: Gotcha is shared electric mobility company dedicated to providing innovative products and technologies that get people out of single-occupancy cars and safely onto efficient, sustainable micro-transit products. The company operates e-bikes, e-scooters, and e-trikes as transportation solutions tailored to cities and universities across the US. Gotcha empowers communities to lead happier, more productive lives through the transformative power of affordable, accessible micro-transit. For more information, visit ridegotcha.com.
Senior Transportation Planner, Transportation Authority of Marin
Senior Transportation Planner, Sonoma County Transportation Authority
Director of Public Relations, Gotcha