New York City is getting a bike share system this summer! No exact date was given, but it's happening, oK?
These are my notes + personal thoughts.
Let me preface this by saying I've utilized bike share in South Beach Miami. I used the Deco Bike system and absolutely loved it and this doesn't seem that different. It was a cheap way to entertain myself and feel like an evolved tourist seeing everything from the peaceful perspective of a bicycle. It also helped me get back to the hotel quickly if I stayed out messin' around on foot too long. It's handy dandy is what I'm saying.
Back to New York City.
Bike share is meant to enhance the options of public transport in NYC. It's for people who sometimes want a bike. It's an extra option for commuters and the lady who lead my ground emphasized how they really wanted to cater to "the New Yorker."
My opinion: It's going to be a great way to help people decide if they want to commit to owning their own bicycle. It's a big responsibility in NYC as most of us have to make space in our tiny homes to house them and take extra care in locking them up.
Badass Bonus: If you're sick of waiting for that M34 to go cross-town, screw it and hop on a bike share bike and get on with your life. Won't that be awesome?!
The initial launch - happening this summer - will be 10,000 bicycles at stations densely situated from 79th street in MHT south and part of Williamsburg/Brooklyn.
No tax money is funding this. It's 100% privately funded and will have sponsorships. That means the skirt cover will be an ad and the kiosks where you check out the bike from will have ads on them, but I don't think they will be big and garish.
The bike share should create 200 news jobs. I believe if it grows, and I think it will, the jobs it could create will grow too. This is also going to drive business with bike shops, as in, people wanting accessories and people who decide to take the plunge and get their own bike and accessories.
Alta is company that owns the whole rig. They bid for the opportunity to be the ones.
Pricing seems to be the question I've been asked most.
Annual membership should be about $100
Annual membership should be about $100
Weekly memberships about $20 - $25
Daily/24hr. rentals $8 - $10
There's this other pricing stuff about how the first 30 - 45 min. will be free and I'll let other people worry about how you get charged when you exceed that. You can "daisy chain" your rides. Look that up yourself if you don't know what I mean.
The Stations - This part is cool and impressed me the most.
Stations install in less than an hour
No digging or roadwork is required
Powered by GPS and the whole system can be shut-down in the event of a wild snow-storm or something
The DOT (Dept of Transportation) says they're un-rolling a phased intro/safety campaign. I'm really glad. So many people don't understand that they have to ride as a car and follow traffic laws and ride with traffic, not on the sidewalk.
I'm really afraid elderly badasses will ride on the sidewalk anyway because some of them don't give an Eff about the rules. Any rules.
My thoughts about the bike.
This bike was very similar to the bikes I rented from Deco Bike in South Beach. Heavy, smooth with fat tires, fat comfy seat for your fat booty. Good, safe, easy cruising. You can't really do hell-cat moves on these if you wanted to. That helps you ride defensively and cautiously. That's a good thing.
I also hope the actual bikes have a decent front basket. The demo model at the meeting last night didn't have any kind of good basket and we were surveyed about what types of trips one might take on the bike share. Shopping was an option, but you can't do much shopping at all on this bike with no good basket. How can you carry stuff?
I'm also a little afraid that people will not realize that you can't leave a bike unattended for one second in Manhattan and do some "Oh, I'm just running into this deli for a bottle of water" type stuff and get it stolen and then get the ding of their life on their credit card paying for that stolen bike.
Otherwise, Bike Share NYC is gonna be awesome. I really hope it gets a cute nickname!