NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A new dockless bike share program is closer to becoming a reality in the Big Apple.
12 different companies submitted proposals for the transportation system that’s already being used in several cities.
Unlike Citi Bike, where the bikes are kept in docks in specific spots around the city, users of the dockless bikes can leave the rental wherever their trip ends.
The system is meant meant to complement the Citi Bike program in the outer boroughs. Brooklyn-based Jump Bikes is hoping to be along for the ride. They’ve rolled out its bikes that can be found with an app on your phone in Washington DC and San Francisco.
Their pedal assist feature makes riding feel almost effortless, but their assisted speed isn’t limitless — it stops helping you once it reaches 20 miles-per-hour, then it’s all manpower to go any faster.
Some say the help is actually a turnoff.
“I wouldn’t be interested in that,” bike rider Daniel Shapiro said. “I like getting exercise when I Citi Bike.”
Other cities have implemented similar technology only to find the bikes become a big dockless clutter.
“In China, for example, dockless bikes have been trashed by everybody,” Citi Bike user Andrew Mao said.
The city’s Department of Transportation says, “a company whose bikes block sidewalks would likely not be considered successful in achieving the pilot’s goals.”
Jump Bikes says their system includes a built-in bike lock to hold users accountable for locking the bike to an existing rack.
LimeBike is one of the companies seeking to expand to New York City.
“In just under nine months we’ve seen over 50 markets,” Zack Bartlett from LimeBike said. “User technology is very important to us because we understand this is a new technology and we want to make sure people a.) know how to ride it safe and b.) know how to park it responsibly.”
The city plans to roll out the pilot program later this year.