DOT bike-sharing program set to hit Rockaways

DOT bike-sharing program set to hit Rockaways
The city’s Department of Transportation has launched a pilot program for bike sharing in the Rockaways.
By Naeisha Rose

A bike-sharing pilot program will kick off on a rolling basis later this July in the Rockaways, central Bronx, North Shore and Coney Island and each community will receive at least 200 bikes, some of which will include pedal-assist models, according to the city’s Department of Transportation.

Among the outer boroughs, the Rockaways is expected to be the first to have bike-sharing service sometime in mid-July with bikes supplied from ride-sharing companies Pace and Lime, according to the DOT.

The central Bronx and Fordham region are expected to receive bikes supplied from Jump and ofo shortly after the Rockaways are serviced with bikes, followed by Northshore, which will get bikes from Jump and Lime, according to the DOT. Coney Island is expected to receive bikes much later this year from Motivate and a yet-to-be-named supplier, because of construction.

“Each of the five selected companies are leaders in this emerging field, and in the course of the pilot, we will see how they perform in diverse New York City neighborhoods that have never before seen bikes hare,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “We strongly encourage New Yorkers to get out this month to explore some great neighborhoods by bike — and give us feedback on their dockless experience.”

All of the five companies participating in the bike share movement in the outer boroughs have contracts pending final approval, but have already signed agreements with the DOT that obligate them to deliver bikes to specific pilot communities within the city, according to the transportation agency. Lime will only offer regular bikes until July 28. Under a rule adopted by the DOT in late June, pedal-assist bikes will have legal status and go into full effect on July 28. Lime will then switch to allocating those types of cycles.

Initially, only a part of the Rockaways was going to be a part of the bike-sharing plans, but after the DOT visited community boards in the region during the consulting phase in June, the boundary was expanded to include the entire peninsula.

“Allowing residents to rent bike shares for low prices will provide greater access to the Rockaways’ amazing beaches and everything the peninsula has to offer,” said state Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D-Howard Beach). “As a member of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, I believe this pilot program is also a great way to get some cars off the road and help protect our environment.”

The price structure for the bikes will vary, but generally bike-sharing companies across the country allow for the cycles to be rented in 30-minute intervals for $1 to $2 via a mobile phone app, according to the DOT.

“Residents in outer-borough communities are starving for transportation options and dockless bike share can help to fill the void,” said Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park). “As a vocal advocate for the expansion of public bike sharing, I am thrilled DOT is bringing affordable and eco-friendly bike sharing to geographically-isolated neighborhoods, like the Rockaways.”

Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4573.

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