Mayor de Blasio Welcomes First Dockless Bikes to the Rockaways

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From the Office of the Mayor:

Mayor Bill de Blasio today welcomed New York City’s first-ever dockless bicycles to the Rockaways, as two different companies began operations under a pilot program managed by the Department of Transportation (DOT). The Mayor was joined by elected officials and dockless company executives along the Rockaway Beach Boardwalk. Starting today, riders can use the Lime or Pace mobile apps to rent bicycles all along the Rockaway peninsula, the first time that a community outside Citi Bike’s service area is experiencing bike share.

“There is no more fitting place in New York City to rollout our dockless bikes than the Rockaways,” said Mayor de Blasio. “Residents and visitors alike will now find the Rockaways’ world class beaches, restaurants and other attractions more accessible than ever.”

“We are thrilled to kick off DOT’s dockless pilot today with the arrival of Lime and Pace bikes in the Rockaways,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “At ten miles long, the Rockaway Peninsula offers tremendous opportunities – for sun, recreation, delicious food and so much more – but distances are often just too long to walk. With a dockless bike, the miles from Jacob Riis Park to the A train or from the NYC Ferry dock to one of many great restaurants will seem so much more conquerable and fun. I for one cannot wait to explore those miles on a dockless bike.”

For the Rockaways dockless pilot, Pace will offer 50 bikes starting today, with a total of 200 bicycles available within a week. Lime, which offers both regular and pedal-assist bikes, is introducing 100 regular bikes today and will add 100 pedal-assist bikes after July 28. Under a rule adopted last month by DOT, pedal-assist dockless bikes can be operational after Saturday, July 28 – the date when the rule clarifying pedal-assist bikes’ legal status goes fully into effect. Each company’s bikes are priced for rental at $1 per 30-minute ride – while Lime’s pedal-assist bikes will cost $1 to unlock and then $.15/minute thereafter.

To use dockless bike share in the Rockaways, riders should download the Lime or Pace app on a mobile phone: how-to videos are available from Lime here and from Pace here. Each company’s rides must remain within the Rockaways pilot area. When done riding, riders should closely follow instructions for locking bikes — being sure to leave them in locations that are safe and accessible to future riders. The bikes should be parked in a bike rack or on the sidewalk – in line with other street furniture. Bikes should never be left in the street nor should they be parked on the Boardwalk, blocking sidewalks, intersections, doorways, ramps, or driveways.

Community engagement and consultation have been a central part of preparation for the pilot. During June, DOT visited Queens Community Board 14, which covers the Rockaways, unveiling its plans and the established boundaries for the pilot area. After community feedback, DOT expanded the Rockaways pilot area, which now includes virtually the entire peninsula – from the Nassau County border west to Jacob Riis Park and the boundary of Breezy Point.

The Rockaways is the first of four pilot areas where dockless bike share is rolling out. Later this month, the bike share pilot will expand as bikes arrive on the North Shore of Staten Island with bikes provided by the dockless companies JUMP and Lime. After that, bikes provided by JUMP and ofo will be provided in the area around Fordham University in the central Bronx. Later this year, Coney Island in Brooklyn will also host a pilot with dockless bikes supplied by Motivate (see earlier announcement here).

During the pilot, DOT will carefully evaluate companies’ compliance with requirements around data accessibility and user privacy. Evaluation criteria will also include the safety, availability and durability of the bikes themselves. In the evaluation period, DOT will also determine future steps, including the possible implementation of pilots in different or expanded geographic areas.


Learn more via the press release.

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