300 dockless bikeshares are coming to NYC Monday

Posted On Fri, August 11, 2017 By

Posted On Fri, August 11, 2017 By In Transportation

Image via Spin Bikeshare Facebook

UPDATE 8/13/17: Spin will not debut their bikes in NYC Monday. Gothamist writes that that the company is postponing operations following a cease and desist letter received from the Department of Transportation.

Watch out Citi Bike, some new competition is rolling in on Monday. As the Post first reports, San Francisco-based bike-sharing company Spin has plans to drop off 300 bikes across NYC—150 throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn and another 150 in the Rockaways. Unlike Citi Bike, however, these new rides will be equipped with a self-locking mobile app-based technology, giving riders the option to leave their bikes in any location they please. One of the biggest challenges for Citi Bike has been figuring how to rebalance docking stations for users, particularly around rush hour when docks are either completely full or empty.


Image via Nick Harris flickr CC

Spin’s entry into the NYC market has not been approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT), which is to say don’t expect much fanfare around the operator’s arrival next week.

“This installation is not sanctioned by the NYC DOT,” DOT reps told the Post. “We are interested in the potential of new technology to enhance access to bike sharing, especially in places like the Rockaways. But ad hoc promotions for individual companies are not the way to do it.”

The city currently has a contract in place with just Citi Bike.

The Post notes, however, that a number of dockless bike operators have been courting NYC officials since the spring in hopes of setting up shop, but Spin is the first of the bunch to establish a presence. The company has also found support in City Councilman Eric Ulrich who believes that NYC cyclists deserve more than one bikeshare option. “Citi Bike has a contract to have docks on city property and that’s fine,” he told the paper, “but the city has to let bike riders and New Yorkers decide who they want to pay.”

Understandably, transit advocates are much more tentative over the idea. Although the dockless system will give riders much more freedom, there’s concern that these liberties will be abused. In China and London where similar shares have been introduced, users have carelessly left bikes in the middle of sidewalks, parks and streets, creating clogged streets and traffic issues. In London where dockless oBikes launched last week, bike litter became so problematic that the city began seizing bicycles.

[Via NY Post]

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