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Bike Sharing

Staten Island’s Dockless Bike-Share Pilot Program Launched Today

DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg never convinced her current boss to ride a bike to work. Maybe Joe Biden will give it a try? File photo: DOT

The North Shore of Staten Island doesn't have any protected bike lanes on public roadways — but now it has hundreds of dockless Lime and JUMP bikes to rent by the half-hour.

On Thursday, the city launched the second of its four-neighborhood bike-share test on Staten Island, where the two companies will share turf on the island's northeast corner — from the ferry terminal to the Verrazano Bridge, plus a narrow stretch along the waterfront to Miller Field.

Lime bikes are already operating in the Rockaways.

Here's Trottenberg (with Council Member Debi Rose at far left) on a Lime bike. Photo by DOT.
Here's Trottenberg (with Council Member Debi Rose at far left) on a Lime bike. Photo by DOT.
Here's Trottenberg (with Council Member Debi Rose at far left) on a Lime bike. Photo by DOT.

Like other dockless systems, both Lime and JUMP rely on an app-based system for users to unlock and pay for rentable bikes. Lime’s regular bikes cost $1 for a 30-minute ride, with pedal-assist e-bikes costing an additional 15 cents per minute. JUMP's bikes, which will all be battery assisted, are $2 per 30 minutes. The electric bikes become legal as of Saturday.

"Staten Island's North Shore offers wonderful destinations," said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, who demonstrated both bikes at a press conference Thursday. "With a dockless bike, these trips can now be healthier, sustainable and fun."

Rentable Lime and Jump bikes will be available in this area on Staten Island starting today. Map by DOT.
Rentable Lime and Jump bikes will be available in this area on Staten Island starting today. Map by DOT.
Rentable Lime and Jump bikes will be available in this area on Staten Island starting today. Map by DOT.

Later this month, the bike-share pilot will expand to the area around Fordham University in the Bronx, with bikes provided by JUMP next week and, at some point, Citi Bike. Coney Island will get into the swing later this year after a dispute with the local community board.

It will be interesting to see if the Staten Island pilot program will be a success, given the island's car culture and limited bike infrastructure. Skeptics have pointed out that there may be too few bikes in the program to create the saturation needed for bike-share to function. Plus the bikes may require constant rebalancing because many people might use a bike to get to the Staten Island Ferry in the morning and to get home at night, but there are not likely to be many trips beyond those.

But DOT said it was working with both Lime and JUMP to "handle increased rush-hour demand for bike share at the Staten Island Ferry terminal."

The agency said both companies "will offer staffing to collect bikes in the morning and provide extra bikes for rental in the afternoon and evening."

As in the four other neighborhoods, the pilot program will be evaluated based on "safety, availability and durability of the bikes themselves," DOT said in a statement.

“I encourage my constituents to download the app and hop on a bike — and give your feedback so that we can ensure a permanent bike-share program that works for all Staten Islanders,” said Council Member Debi Rose.

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