San Francisco Bay Area pedal & e-bike information

 

Dealers & Incentives

If you have an old car you are ready to scrap, you may be able to trade your clunker for $7,500 towards e-bikes & transit

 

Bikeshare systems & longer term rentals

Short term bikeshares (rent by the minute for short trips)

  • San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland  & Berkeley- Lyft/BayWheels  (pedal "classic" and ebikes docked and undocked in SF & SJ, docked pedal bikes only in the Oakland  & Berkeley BayWheels systems)

  • Richmond - Gotcha by Bolt (all e-bike) appears to have shut down

  • Sonoma & Marin - Gotcha by Bolt (all e-bike) appears to have shut down

  • Berkeley

Many bikeshare systems have discounts for low income riders. Check with the operator for details.  

 

Hourly & daily & longer term rentals:​

  • Sports Basement (multiple locations) rents Bosch powered pedal assist electric bikes from Scott, Kalkhoff, Cannondale, and Felt (in addition to a broad range of pedal bikes). I know they rent ebikes from Berkeley. Call other locations to confirm availability. Rates in 2022 were $65/day, $110/weekend (2-4 days), $300/week (5-9 days), $500/month, $1000/6 month lease

  • Bay City Bike 2661 Taylor St (Fisherman's Wharf) SF - daily rentals $32 pedal powered, $65 ebikes

  • Blazing Saddles, 2715 Hyde (Fisherman's Wharf) SF - ebikes $48/2 hours, $70.40/day

  • Friend With A, Various locations, ebikes from their owners (like airbnb for houses or or Turo for cars)

 

Classes, Events, Local advocacy & Resources

 

Route Planning

Check out the Bike East Bay Route Planning page for lots of tips on how to plan your route and map sources. 

Also check out 511's Biking Maps & Trails for PDFs of bike lane maps around the Bay

 

Secure Parking

Secure bike parking is offered at many transit stations throughout the Bay area (all BART stations, most Caltrain,  SMART, and Amtrak stations, plus many bus transit hubs, libraries, community centers, hospitals, parks, and other places around the Bay area and beyond. You may use these whether you are using transit or just shopping or meeting in the area. Most are either free or very cheap (3-5 cents  per hour). A few are attended and can be used walk up. Most require a BikeLink card or Clipper card to access.

  • BikeLink map & explanation of bike lockers and controlled access group parking facilities throughout the Bay area, plus locations in Davis, Sacramento, Santa Cruz, Tahoe Southern California, Oregon, Washington, Las Vegas, Utah, St Louis, & Burlington VT. Also search for "BikeLink" in GoogleMaps

  • BikeHub for Bart, Caltrain, LA Express & Sacramento - These locations variously offer valet bike parking or controlled access group parking or secure smart racks. Valet parking is generally available weekdays and may also provide fast turnaround repair services, accessory sales and bike rentals at select stations. 

 

Where can I ride?

  • City streets, bike lanes and separated bike paths are all usually open to Class I, II & III e-bikes as well as pedal bikes. In many areas, e-bikes can go wherever regular bikes are allowed. Parks, however, sometimes have more restrictions.

  • Bay Trail: The Bay Trail is generally open to all bicycles throughout, but local restrictions may apply in certain parks. Always, always, be a good ambassador for e-bikes when you ride on the Bay Trail. Slow way down around pedestrians and when passing pedal cyclists. Use your bell or call out when approaching. Check out Bay Trail Confidential to learn much more about  fun places to go on the Bay Trail.. 

  • Bridges & Tunnels: Six of the region’s toll bridge spans have bicycle and pedestrian paths, and no toll is charged for these users. Check out the Bay Trail FAQ on bridges and 511 Bicycles on Bridges & in Tunnels to learn more.

    • Antioch Bridge: CA-160. Technically bikes and pedestrians are allowed on this bridge "on a bike lane adjacent to the vehicle travel lane" however, the lane is very narrow and there is no shoulder. Check it out on google street view before attempting it.

    • Baker Barry Tunnel: Bunker Rd in the Marin Headlands. Car traffic is one way, controlled by a 5 minute traffic light. Bicycles, however have their own lanes in both directions and do not need to wait for the light. Use head and tail lights in the tunnel.

    • Benicia-Martinez Bridge: (also known as the George Miller Jr. Bridge) I-680. A two-way 12-foot path for bicyclists and pedestrians on the west side of the bridge is open 24 hours a day.

    • Carquinez Bridge: (also known as the Alfred Zampa Memorial Bridge) I-80 between Vallejo & Crockett. Open 24 hours a day.

    • Dumbarton Bridge: Route 84 between Newark & East Palo Alto. Open 24 hours a day.

    • Golden Gate Bridge: Pedal and e-bikes are allowed but not e-scooters. Cyclists have 24 hour access except occasionally for special construction. Check website for special closures, routes and pedestrian hours.

    • Posey/Webster Tubes: Alameda. There is no pedestrian or bicycle access in the Webster Tube, and only limited access through the Posey Tube. You can get through Posey but it is a very unpleasant experience. Take the bus or go around to one of the bridges.

    • Richmond-San Rafael Bridge: Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This path is open under a pilot program through 2024. Keeping the bike and pedestrian path will depend on how many people use it (and politics)

    • San Mateo-Hayward Bridge: NO bike or pedestrian access.

    • SF-Oakland Bay Bridge: The East Span between Oakland & Yerba Buena is open from 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM. Access to Treasure Island is only available on weekends until the completion of construction expected in summer of 2022. Funding is being sought for a West Span to connect to SF. The SF Muni 25 and the TI Ferry can be used to get to SF.

  • Parks: While pedal and e-bikes may travel on any park road open to cars, not all trails are open to bikes and not all trails open to regular pedal bikes are open to e-bikes. These rules are evolving. Check with the park before you ride.  Always, always be a good ambassador for bikes and e-bikes when you ride on trails. Keep it slow and use your bell or call out when approaching pedestrians or horses.  

    • East Bay Regional Parks - As of March 3, 2019, Class I and II e-bikes are allowed on select park trails: Alameda Creek Trail (paved only), Big Break Trail, Contra Costa Canal Trail, Delta De Anza Trail, George Miller Trail, Iron Horse Trail, Lafayette Moraga Trail, and Marsh Creek Trail.

    • MCBC E-bike policies in Marin County - listing of parks and their ​restriction

 

Bikes on Transit

Most (but not all) buses & trains & ferries allow both pedal and e-bikes. If the agency allows bikes and does not explicitly disallow e-bikes, we assume they allow e-bikes.

Racks and station elevators are often not big enough for longer cargo bikes, tricycles, recumbents, trailers, or tandems. Note that BART has an Elevator Dimensions guide to help you determine if your longer bike will fit.  

Bikes with large fat tires or very small wheels may not work in the racks. Check with the agency for size limitations.  

Clipper Card: Many, but not all, systems accept the Clipper Card for fares. Some have a discounted Clipper fare.

Confirm before your ride: Always follow the blue hotlink which will lead you to the transit system's bike page if I could find one. There you can learn the specific rules for each agency before you ride, including weight and size limits on some systems.  See also the Bike East Bay Bikes on Transit guide and the 511 Bicycles on Transit  

Trains & BART: Learn which stop precedes your stop. Watch for it and start unhooking your bike soon after the train leaves the preceding station. It will take some extra time to unhook your bike from tie downs and you need to be ready to roll off when the train stops or risk missing your chance and going on to the next stop.

  • ACE: Yes. Does not accept Clipper.

  • Amtrak: Yes on trains. Some of the Amtrak connection buses do take bikes, others don't. Call Amtrak to confirm. Many platforms require carrying your bike up and down steep stairs to get on and off the train. Does not accept Clipper.

  • BART: Yes. Check rules for which cars you can ride in and other guidance. Watch for a bike logo near doors to find tiedown bars you can lean your bike against. The supplied tiedowns are only large enough to strap one bike. Bring a bungee to strap your bike to the tiedown bar in case you need to lean against another bike so you don't have to hold your bike for the entire ride.  Gas powered bikes not allowed, No restriction on e-bikes.​ *** Most BART stations require using an elevator or carrying your bike on stairs. Bikes are prohibited from escalators. Check the BART Elevator Status website as they frequently break down. Cargo bike or tandem? Check the Elevator Dimensions guide to see which elevators your bike will fit in. Clipper discount.

  • Caltrain: Yes. You must carry your bike up and down a short flight of very steep stairs to get on and off Caltrain cars.  Look for cars with “Bike Car” label near the door. There is ample for room for multiple bikes. Check Caltrain website for instructions for adding a suggested yellow hangtag with your station name so your bike doesn’t get buried behind other bikes going to farther stations. Clipper discount.

  • SMART: Yes. Easy platform level roll on/roll off the train. Ample room for multiple bikes. Clipper daily pass discount.

Ferries: Use the indoor storage on the boat if available to keep corrosive salt spray off your bike. Most are easy same level roll on- roll off, but watch for multi level where you need to carry bikes on a stairway (e.g. Larkspur)

  • Golden Gate Ferry: Yes. Roll on access at some docks, but you may have to carry the bike up or down a stairway between some terminals. Larkspur is the only one that I know has an elevated boarding platform that goes to the second level of the boat, requiring carrying bike on stairs to access lower level for SF docks. LMK if you experience this on other docks. Clipper discount.

  • SF Bay Ferry: Yes. Gas powered bikes not allowed, No restriction on e-bikes.​ Roll on-roll off on all runs I have tried (Jack London-SF and Richmond-SF). Clipper discount.

  • Tideline Berkeley SF Ferry: Yes. Small boat. Limited schedule.  No Clipper ticket service yet.  

  • Treasure Island SF Ferry: Yes. Roll on access.  Small boat. Operator said they had taken 8 bikes on already and "can probably fit more. We don't want to leave anyone behind." Another said they can jam 16. No Clipper ticket service yet. 

 

Bus & Light Rail: Racks usually only hold either 2 or 3 bikes, usually on the front. Rack space is first come first served so have a back up plan. Some bus systems will allow an additional bike or two in the bus in the wheelchair area if it is not needed by a disabled person. Some large buses on regional commuter routes make room for bikes in the luggage area underneath. Reverse commute direction is easiest of course. Confirm with the bus system ahead of time.

Trains, BART and the ferries, generally accommodate many more bikes than buses & light rail

On a bus, you will have to be able to fold down the rack, lift your bike on and off the rack and fold the rack back up without help from the driver. Communicate with the driver, particularly to notify her before you get off the bus that you will be pulling a bike off the rack. Always fold the rack back up after removing your bike if it is empty. 

All of the bus systems listed below accept Clipper Cards (or are free)

  • AC Transit: Yes. Clipper discount.

  • CityCoach (Vacaville): Yes. Accepts Clipper.

  • Commute.org San Mateo Shuttles: Assume yes. No bike policy found. Shuttles have bike racks. Free.

  • County Connection (CCCTA): Yes. Clipper discount.

  • Dumbarton Express: Assume yes. No bike policy found. Shuttles have bike racks. Accepts Clipper.

  • FAST: (Fairfield): Yes. Accepts Clipper.

  • Golden Gate Transit Bus: No e-bikes :-( (but they do allow pedal bikes). Contact the GG Bridge District to ask them to allow e-bikes. Clipper discount.

  • Marin Transit: No e-bikes :-( (but they do allow pedal bikes). Contact the agency to ask them to allow e-bikes. Clipper discount.

  • Petaluma Transit: Yes. Accepts Clipper.

  • SamTrans: No e-bikes :-( (but they do allow pedal bikes). Contact the agency to ask them to allow e-bikes. Clipper discount.

  • Santa Rosa CityBus: Yes. Two wheeled pedal and sealed dry cell ebikes are allowed. Recumbent, tandems, motorized, three-wheeled, muddy, dirty, or greasy bikes are not allowed. Accepts Clipper.

  • SF Muni: Yes w/limits on some vehicle types and small wheel sizes. All bikes are allowed on buses. Only folding bikes are allowed on Muni Metro & Light Rail and historic vehicles. No bikes are allowed on cable cars. Clipper discount.

  • SolTran Solano Express: Yes. Accepts Clipper.

  • Sonoma County Transit: Yes. Accepts Clipper.

  • TriDelta Transit: Yes. Accepts Clipper.

  • TriValley Wheels (Livermore Amador Valley): Yes. Accepts Clipper.
  • Union City Transit: Yes. Folding bikes (e or otherwise) may be brought into a bus but must fit under the seat. (Per e-mail communication. See Rules of the Road printed brochure. Accepts Clipper.
  • Valley Transportation Authority (VTA): Yes. When the racks are filled, up to two bicycles will be allowed inside buses subject to the driver's discretion when passenger loads are light. Accepts Clipper.
  • Vine (NapaCounty): Yes. If racks are full, at least one pedal bike (but not e-bike) can be brought in the wheelchair area if it isn't needed by a disabled person. Check website for weight and size limits on racks. Accepts Clipper.
  • WestCAT: Yes. Accepts Clipper