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Mayor de Blasio Welcomes First Dockless Bikes to the Rockaways

July 13, 2018

Dockless bike share pilot kicks off today with two companies on the Rockaway Peninsula: Lime and Pace

NEW YORK—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.

“Expanding access in Rockaway will make it easier and more fun to get to New York City’s largest beach and to explore all that this great waterfront community has to offer,” said Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver. “The entirety of Rockaway Beach’s brand new 5.5 mile boardwalk is open this summer and ready for visitors!”

“Today’s introduction of dockless bikes to the Rockaways is a welcome addition to our beautiful boardwalk, offering an affordable and accessible transportation option for the community. Pilot testing this first wave of bikes will provide valuable insight, hopefully leading to the full implementation of this emerging technology,” said Representative Gregory W. Meeks. “I commend DOT, Lime and Pace for working together to give Rockaway residents and our visitors an innovative way of getting to and from our great restaurants and beaches along the peninsula.”

“I commend NYC DOT Commissioner Trottenberg on today’s announcement to launch dockless bicycles to the Rockaways,” said Representative Adriano Espaillat. “Innovation through creative thinking helps move our community forward as these bikes will benefit thousands of residents by providing an easily accessible and affordable option to and from their jobs, schools, and during their daily commutes.”

“Bringing New York City’s first-ever dockless bicycles pilot program to the Rockaways will have a major positive impact on the entire peninsula,” said State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. “By giving people the option to rent bicycles, DOT has made an effort to allow people a great way to access the Rockaways and for individuals to further enjoy what the peninsula has to offer, while also getting more cars off the road. I would like to thank DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, as well as the companies Lime and Pace, for starting this great pilot program here in the Rockaways.”

“With so many of our own local attractions - Orchard Beach, Wave Hill, City Island, the NY Botanical Garden, the Bronx Zoo and two major parks - we can't wait for dockless bikes to arrive in the Bronx. The sooner the better!” said State Senator Luis Sepulveda.

“Making bike share available at our beaches will certainly add to the summer fun for New Yorkers and tourists alike,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, chair of the Council Committee on Transportation. “The dockless pilot is a great opportunity to try a new way to do bike share. I look forward to the outcomes of the pilot and exploring innovative ways to expand healthy, eco-friendly transportation options for New Yorkers.”

“Lime is excited to bring dock-free bikeshare to New York with today’s launch in the Rockaways. Now New Yorkers can take advantage of this affordable, reliable transportation option,” said Caen Contee, Lime's founding team member and Vice President. “As our bikes hit the streets in the Rockaways, we will work with DOT and the local community to make sure residents experience all of the benefits of dock-free bikeshare so that we can help create a more mobile, healthier, greener city.”

“We are thrilled to bring Pace – our leading, lock-to dockless bike sharing service – to The Rockaways in New York City,” said Tim Ericson, CEO and Founder of Pace parent Zagster. “More top U.S. cities like New York are selecting Pace because of our proven 'lock-to' dockless model, our high-quality bike and user experience, our pledge to provide equal access to Pace through accessible bikes and other equity features, and our track-record of operating more than 250 bike share programs. As we do in every market we operate Pace, we look forward to partnering with Rockaways' community groups, local businesses, and elected officials to ensure we build an integrated, dockless bike share program that best serves all the people who visit and live in this great part of New York.”

“Founded here in New York City in 2010, JUMP's mission has always been to get more people on bikes. We are excited to bring our dockless pedal assist bikes to Staten Island and the Bronx later this month, providing New Yorkers with an easy, affordable, and fun way to move around their boroughs,” said Ryan Rzepecki, Founder and CEO, JUMP Bikes.

“Over the past five years, Citi Bike has become a New York City institution as iconic as the Cyclone and Nathan's," said Kris Sandor, Citi Bike General Manager. “We are thrilled to work alongside NYCDOT and the Coney Island community to bring bike share to the neighborhood in a way that works for everyone and provides residents and visitors alike with a fun, easy affordable way to get around.”

“We are excited to launch our dockless bikes in the Bronx this month and are thankful to DOT for their collaboration as we work to ensure a smooth launch and set the program up for long-term success,” said Anna Wan Christie, ofo's General Manager for New York. “Together, we are building a better city for people, creating more affordable and accessible ways to get around, while reducing carbon emissions and improving public health.”

DOT’s dockless bike share pilot is a result of a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) issued last December seeking ideas around next-generation “dockless” public bike share systems. Twelve different dockless companies had initially responded to the RFEI. The City will continue to support and strengthen Citi Bike, including through increased coverage announced last month by DOT in preparation for next year’s L train disruption. All of the new dockless systems will operate entirely outside of the Citi Bike area in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.

For more information on New York City’s bike share system, please see www.nyc.gov/bikeshare

pressoffice@cityhall.nyc.gov

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