DOT Picks Five Companies to Run Dockless Bike-Share Pilots

Starting this summer, Motivate (a.k.a. Lyft Bikes), JUMP, Pace, Lime, and ofo will show their stuff in the Rockaways, Coney Island, Fordham, and Staten Island's North Shore.

Image: NYC DOT
Image: NYC DOT

Five bike-share companies — Motivate, JUMP, Pace, Lime, and ofo — will participate in DOT’s dockless bike-share pilot, set to launch in the Rockaways later this month. The city narrowed down the field from 12 applicants.

During these test runs, DOT will be evaluating “the safety, availability and durability of the bikes” and how well each company complies with “requirements around data accessibility and user privacy,” with an eye toward future expansion.

The pilot areas will be limited in size and scope, though not quite as much as expected. An announcement in May said each zone would be capped at 200 bikes, but today the city said 200 bikes will be the minimum and 300 to 400 will be the max.

First up, in “mid July,” come the Rockaways, where Pace and Lime will drop their bikes. Then in “mid-to-late July,” ofo and JUMP (owned by Uber) will put out bikes in the Bronx around Fordham University. JUMP and Lime will roll out bikes on Staten Island’s North Shore at around the same time. Motivate’s dockless bikes will appear in Coney Island sometime “later this year,” DOT said, and a second company might also get a permit to operate there.

Starting July 28, JUMP and Lime will be allowed to include pedal-assist electric bikes in their fleets.

The dockless bike-share pilots are a prelude to bigger decisions about how to expand bike-share in NYC, where Citi Bike has established itself as a reliable and intensely-used service but is limited to the central areas of the city. Following yesterday’s announcement that Lyft is acquiring Citi Bike operator Motivate, it seems like some sort of expanded Citi Bike with a hybrid of dockless and station-based bikes is in the cards. Where other bike-share companies fit into the plan — which has to account for Motivate’s exclusivity arrangement with the city — remains to be seen.

  • crazytrainmatt

    I tried an ofo bike a few weeks ago. It was comically small and I’m guessing anyone over 6′ tall would find it tough to ride. Citibike is great in this regard, and while there is some variability, the seats go way up or down.

    Aside from their low quality, the advantage of the dockless bikes seems to be scaling up in sprawling areas of low use, say once or twice per day, while minimizing capital expenses. Imagine chasing down dockless bikes in manhattan where they would turn over in minutes.

    Fordham in the Bronx clearly deserves to be in an expanded citibike area. Maybe dockless fits the other areas, which are more geographically separated from Manhattan. Allowing citibikes to be left next to full stations would be the best of both worlds (I believe Paris does this). Regardless, this balkanized pseudo privatization is silly when so many other cities have experience building out and operating big public systems.

  • Daniel S Dunnam

    Yeah, Lime bikes have the same same issue of Ofo. In Dallas there’s like half a dozen of these dockless bike share competitors, and not only do most people hate them for junking up the streets with bikes strewn about randomly, but the bikes themselves are not really worth riding. Jump bikes seem like they can be adjusted for taller riders, so maybe there’s hope there. But all the different non-e-bike companies operating in Dallas were completely non-viable for me. Like, I’m 6′ tall, and I *literally* could not ride them.

  • AnoNYC

    Governor Cuomo Announces Transformational Projects for the South Bronx’s Civic Center Neighborhood as Part of $10 Million Award

    Here are a few more relevant to the Streetsblog crowd:

    “Convert the 149th Street Bridge into a Public Plaza: Create an expanded, programmable sidewalk plaza on the 149th Street Bridge that will connect the Lower Concourse to the Hub, and provide space for vendors, art, and other activities. ($2,592,000)”

    “Beautify Streetscapes at the Hub and 149th Street: Invest in a series of streetscape improvements on Third Avenue, Melrose Avenue, and 149th Street to foster a stronger local identity, improve safety, and encourage private investment. ($1,040,000)”

    “Improve Community Gardens at Melrose Common: Improve three community gardens in Melrose Commons with solar power, enhanced lighting, wi-fi access, and rainwater harvesting to strengthen the area’s open space network, community resilience, and sustainability. ($630,000)”

    “Activate the New Roberto Clemente Plaza with Outdoor Cafes: Install two outdoor cafes in the soon-to-be-completed public space at the Roberto Clemente Plaza to provide additional dining options for local workers and shoppers. One of the cafes will serve as an incubator for local food entrepreneurs. ($520,000)”

    “Refresh the Bronx Walk of Fame with Updated Signs and Branding: Refresh the Bronx Walk of Fame by redesigning, replacing, and regrouping signs along the Grand Concourse between 149th Street and 167th Street, and creating a digital directory to draw visitors. ($250,000)”

    “Create a More Welcoming Gateway at the 161st Street Station: Create a modern, attractive gateway to the Bronx outside the East 161st Street – Yankee Stadium subway station by enhancing existing concrete medians with improved plantings. This project will complement other investments in the area. ($227,000)”

    Some good initiatives here to improve walkability.

  • AnoNYC

    What’s to prevent me from bringing one of these bikes to my neighborhood?

  • com63

    hahaha. I just came to the comments to post the exact same thing. Ofo was so so small!!!! It felt like a kids bike. The lime bike I rode was just fine because the seat went much higher. The lime electric pedal assist bike was life changing in a hilly city!

  • com63

    I thought lime was fine since the seat went pretty high. Maybe they use different bikes in different cities?

  • com63

    What is the limit of dockless cars allowed in the trial service areas? I’d like to compare this to the 400 bike limit.

  • qrt145

    The system could easily refuse the let you check in the bike outside the service area. You could still take it, but the meter would keep running and you would still be on the hook for whatever happens to the bike!

  • HamTech87

    In Yonkers, I think there is a $50.00 fee if you leave the bike outside of the city. It wasn’t there at the beginning, but lots of bikes were showing up in the Bronx and points east and north. Lime seems to be trying to sign up the points east and north which are all in Westchester, but it is a bummer that someone can’t cycle to the subway termini.

  • HamTech87

    In Yonkers, there have been a few bikes with broken kickstands. But overall, they’ve been embraced. 30,000 trips in the first month, and they only gradually ramped up to the 1,000 bike level in that first month.

  • cjstephens

    Prediction: the demand for these bikes in the Rockaways on summer weekends is going to be massive.

  • 1soReal

    Nothing really. From experience Ive seen people will take them to where ever transportation patterns and local geography dictates. Lime bikes from Yonkers show up in the Bronx all the time, mainly along Broadway/van courtlandt park, to Manhattan College and 242 st 1 train station. Less frequency they show up in woodlawn and near the 2 train on white plains rd. On the app ive see them in wash hts too. I rode one I saw on Morris Park Av once. Left it on e tremont, a few days later I got a msg saying parking outside service area subjects you to $50 fine. Never got fined though. I hear its not strictly enforced. When its new they seem to go easy. Also they seem to fine ppl who make a habit of it, and not so much the occasional violater.
    I hoped Lime would be in the Bx b/c they unoffically show up here anyway and it would create a more seamless network. They are in White Plains also and they show up in Dobbs Ferry, Ardsley etc. Lime will go scoop them up eventually if no one ride it back into the offical official service area.

  • William Lawson

    I just imagine more scenarios where you get to the bike that’s showing on the map only to find some young hoodlum and his pals taking turns to sit on it, and giving you the stink eye. It’s bad enough at the CitiBike stations when kids start hassling you to “give them a bike” when they see your key.

  • Anna Frankfurt

    The apartment should be clean and the body – healthy. The main slogan of Luxury Cleaning NYC. You do not need to spend millions on maintaining your health. Running requires only sneakers and comfortable clothes – but how it strengthens the body.

  • Lotu

    This has literally never happened to me. Is this supposed to be a common occurrence?

  • William Lawson

    Depends where you pick up bikes. There are some locations where you can regularly find kids hanging out on the docked bikes. I’ve had this happen to me at the one on Avenue D and 3rd, as well as the one at Avenue C and 2nd.

  • Joel Epstein

    Is anyone looking to meet the need for bike share, dockless or otherwise in West Harlem/Washington Heights. Lot’s of us would use it.

  • Myra Hill

    I saw few people riding Lime bikes around Fordham Plaza.