The city is rolling forward with the second phase of its wildly popular dockless bike share program in the Rockaways.
Officials with the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) put out a call on Monday to bike share companies interested in serving the Queens neighborhood. Lime launched the city’s pilot program with traditional two-wheelers and pedal assisted bikes in July 2018. The program was extended through September and Lime’s fleet was ramped up from 400 to 600 bikes after a swell of interest. Now, DOT aims to provide seamless service into the fall with the second phase of the pilot program in November.
“As noted previously, DOT stated we would work with the community and bike share companies to determine the future of bike share in the Rockaways,” said DOT spokesperson Alana Morales. “Phase II aims to maintain continuous dockless bike share service in the Rockaways.”
The program has seen undeniable interest from New Yorkers with Lime logging 143,000 rides from 21,000 riders in the Rockaways over the last year. Even after a dockless e-bike burst into flames in what Lime calls an “isolated incident” after a rider tried to force open the bike’s lock with a sharp object, but instead penetrated the small lithium battery that powers the lock, according to the company.
“Our bikes are entirely safe when used properly,” Lime spokesperon Russell Murphy told Curbed at the time.
The bike share company aims to continue offering its bikes in the Rockaways and has also put in a bid for a borough-wide pilot program that’s set to expand dockless bike service across Staten Island.