New York City’s dockless bike share pilot officially got underway earlier this month, but it hasn’t been without its hiccups. There have been the issues experienced by other dockless programs—namely, people leaving the bikes where they shouldn’t be parked, or even throwing them in someone’s backyard.
And last week, one the operators chosen to participate in the pilot, ofo, withdrew from the program before its bikes even had a chance to roll out on city streets. The company has made similar moves in Washington D.C., Austin, and other cities as part of a “strategic restructuring.”
Ofo was due to bring 200 bikes to the Bronx, and to close some of that gap, the other Bronx operator, Jump (which is owned by Uber), announced that it will up its footprint with 200 dockless, pedal-assist bikes in the borough. Previously, the company was going to roll out 100 bikes as part of the pilot. Jump founder and CEO Ryan Rzepecki said that response to its bikes has been “phenomenally positive” in the Bronx, and that the bikes can “reduce traffic congestion, connect residents to public transportation, and make biking an even more viable and fun transit option in the borough.”
Bronx residents will have to wait a bit longer for those two-wheelers, which will be introduced after legislation allowing for Class 1 e-bikes—including Jump’s pedal-assist bikes, which reach a top speed of 20 miles per hour—goes into effect on July 28.
It remains to be seen how much they’ll actually contribute to the overall lessening of congestion on city streets, though an initial report from Uber—which looked at Jump’s first few months of operation among early adopters in San Francisco—found that car trips using the app dropped during that period. (In fact, [d]uring the workday specifically, Uber trips dropped by 15 percent, when Jump use increased,” according to our colleagues at Curbed. But, they caution, the data should be taken with a grain of salt.)