All about NYC dockless bike-share pilot

It’s been under work since 2017, and finally started in july 2018: New-York City Department Of Transportation (NYC DOT) have been working hard on how to integrate dockless bike-share operators in the city without cannibalizing its historical Citi Bike dock-based scheme.

For such a huge metropolis where bike-sharing is a real part of the transportation network (at least for the heart of it), it was necessary to anticipate the way to introduce thousands of bikes in its streets. NYC DOT chose to avoid overlaps between Citi Bike and its dockless competitors… Well that is indeed the best way to avoid cannibalisation, but it implies that dockless and dock-based systems have the same usage and cannot be complementary, which I think is untrue (I should develop that later)

12 companies answered the NYC DOT Request for Expressions of Interest: JUMP, lennybike, LimeBike, MetroBike, Mobike, Motivate (Citi Bike’s parent company), ofo, P3GM, Pace (subsidiary of Zagster), Quimo Cycle, Riide and Spin. Yes JUMP could answer, as in april 2018, NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio softened the law regarding use of electric-assisted bicycles:

After investigating the offers, DOT decided to reward 2 operators in each of the considered boroughs… but ofo, chosen to operate in the Bronx, finally withdrew before the pilot started, following a massive strategical change.

  • Jump in the Fordham area in the Bronx. The pilot started in july 30th with 200 electric-assisted JUMP bikes. Motivate is supposed to offer a dockless solution in this area, but no news have come about it so far… Strange as the solution has already been implemented in San Francisco. Any troubles?

Regarding the future of dockless bike-sharing in NYC, everything is open, as it is stated in NYC DOT official statement:

  • During Pilot Period (timing may vary by area): DOT will carefully evaluate companies’ compliance with pilot requirements around data accessibility and user privacy. Evaluation criteria will also include the safety, availability and durability of the bikes themselves.
  • Fall 2018: After September, DOT will work with local stakeholders to extend or discontinue pilots based on performance.  In evaluation period, DOT will also make a determination on future steps, including the possible addition of pilots in different or expanded geographic areas.

One more city, one more way to regulate and experiment. We will carry on learning!

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