A coming boom of bike-share use in New York City?
Changes are coming for NYC. We already saw two big moves from the local public authorities that will have a big impact on the bike-share use in the Big Apple.
On december 15th 2017, New York Department of Transportation (DOT) released a Request for expression of interest (RFEI) for a dockless bike-share program. Considering the exclusivity agreement granted to Motivate (reminds me of SF), that is operating the dock-based system since 2013, this RFEI states that the services will have to remain outside the area covered by Citibike, and to focus on the Bronx, Staten Island and sections of northern Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.
12 companies did answer to the RFEI, that we can sort in different categories:
- The Chinese giants: ofo and Mobike.
- The American providers: LimeBike, Spin, Jump, Zagster (Pace), Motivate.
- The American operators: MetroBike, P3GM. We do not know what solution they will choose yet.
- The newcomers: Lenny Bike, Riide and QuimoCycle
The DOT will test and evaluate the different solutions with a pilot program that should start in summer/fall 2018, and also define its requirement for the definitive program. What we can note from the RFEI: multiple operator is the #1 option; each defective bike have to be removed within 72h; the City will create parking zones in high bike-density places; nothing about E-bikes.
Nice transition to the second point: on april 3rd, NYC mayor Bill De Blasio announced new framework that will make riding E-bikes legal. Before that day, “it was legal to own an E-bike, but it was technically illegal to operate them”. These news are a real game changer for small businesses and delivery services… and also for bike-share! As of today, LimeBike, Spin and Jump are the only responding companies providing a dockless E-bike solution. Perfect timing for more innovation in the RFEI answers!