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NYC to launch dockless bike share pilot this summer

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The program will head to Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island

Uber Acquires Bike Share Company Jump
Dockless bikes from Jump in San Francisco.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

This summer, four New York City neighborhoods outside of Manhattan will host dockless bikeshare pilot programs. In a Thursday announcement made by Mayor Bill de Blasio, it was revealed that the program will roll out in Coney Island, the Rockaways in Queens, the Bronx’s Fordham University neighborhood, and Staten Island’s North Shore this July.

The dockless pilot is a result of a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) that was issued by the Department of Transportation last December, seeking the ideas for the “next-generation” of dockless public bike share systems.

Unlike Citi Bike, this bike share program will not require docking stations and will allow users to rent bikes through their mobile devices for around $2 per ride. The pilot program will be required to operate outside of areas that are served by Citi Bike to avoid “duplicating or undermining current bike share service,” says a press release. The city plans to have a total of 200 bikes that offer half-hour rides within the boundaries of the respective programs areas.

Before the pilot is launched, the DOT will head to community board in the neighborhoods set to host the program to present plans and establish boundaries for the proposed pilot areas throughout the month of June. The DOT will also determine which companies will be assigned to operate in the various areas.

“We will start in July on a small scale in each borough outside Manhattan, and we will take what we learn over the next few months to make informed, clear-eyed decisions as to whether New York City’s bike-share future is dockless,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “In the meantime, we strongly encourage New Yorkers to get out this summer and explore some great neighborhoods by bike—and of course give us their feedback on the dockless experience.”

The pilot is set to run until September, after which time DOT officials will determine whether the program will be extended or discontinued, based upon its performance.