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kermit

Charlotte Bike / Scooter Sharing

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Ben Miller (CDOT Bicycle Program Director) talks in this podcast about the pilot project for permitting Dockless Bikeshare in Charlotte.   (Skip to ~36:40)     Many have already probably seen VBikes around town - these regulations seem to have been developed in response to that company's (sudden) presence in Charlotte, and modeled after other cities' rules governing dockless bikeshare.  B-Cycle's current system is about 200 bikes, CDOT expects 800-2000 additional dockless bikes to come from four different companies over the course of  this program.

http://charlottenc.gov/newsroom/Pages/PodCast.aspx

More info below (from CDOT's bicycle website).  There are pros and cons to docked and dockless systems, but this is likely to be a gamechanger for bicycling in Charlotte...

 

Quote

In response to interest from dockless bike share providers, the Charlotte Department of Transportation has enacted a Bike Share Pilot Program that allows permit holders to maintain a fleet of up to 500 bicycles within Charlotte's city limits. The Pilot Program will run for one year. At the end of the Pilot Program, Charlotte Department of Transportation (CDOT) will evaluate the success of the program, and may recommend ordinance changes to City Council that would allow multiple bike share vendor operations within the city's right-of-way.  The permit and permit requirements are available here:  Charlotte Bike Share Permit Requirements.

 

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LimeBike arrives in Charlotte today.  Bringing 200 bikes.

http://amp.charlotteobserver.com/news/business/biz-columns-blogs/whats-in-store/article183323136.html

 

Quote

LimeBike is starting out in Charlotte with 200 bikes, although it plans to add more in coming weeks, the spokeswoman said. To celebrate the launch, LimeBike is offering new customers their first five rides free.

LimeBike joins a growing number of bike share companies in Charlotte. B-Cycle, for instance, launched here in 2012. Another one called VBikes rolled out in August.

 

Rumor is that Spin is set to announce an additional 500 bikes today as well.  They are advertising a City Manager position for Charlotte on their website.  

 

Both of these companies have had big success in Seattle, varying levels of success in other cities.  Will be interesting to see how the Charlotte market responds to four bike share options (and a ton more bikes).

Edited by pathb
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12 minutes ago, pathb said:

LimeBike arrives in Charlotte today.  Bringing 200 bikes.

http://amp.charlotteobserver.com/news/business/biz-columns-blogs/whats-in-store/article183323136.html

 

 

Rumor is that Spin is set to announce an additional 500 bikes today as well.  They are advertising a City Manager position for Charlotte on their website.  

 

Both of these companies have had big success in Seattle, varying levels of success in other cities.  Will be interesting to see how the Charlotte market responds to four bike share options (and a ton more bikes).

Question: In the same vein as wanting to transfer between bus and train, how is it good to have non-compatible bike share companies in the same city?

Unless it's assumed they'll all have amazing coverage (that's a lot of bike docking stations).

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12 minutes ago, SgtCampsalot said:

Question: In the same vein as wanting to transfer between bus and train, how is it good to have non-compatible bike share companies in the same city?

Unless it's assumed they'll all have amazing coverage (that's a lot of bike docking stations).

No docking stations for any of the new entrants -- they are all dockless (find a bike with the gps enabled app on your phone). If there are no membership charges for the dockless services (and I don't believe there are) then more companies = better bike access for consumers because every bike is equally available if you already have the app.

That said, there are significant issues with the dockless bikes becoming waste / obstacles / irritations so management will determine if there is a backlash and subsequent regulation.

Life is gonna be tough for Bcycle -- they are stuck with a high cost structure and bike availability limited by dock location.

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Wish I snapped a photo of the periphery of People's Park in Shanghai my last work trip but lots of the bike share bikes covering the sidewalks.  We'll never reach that scale but kermit's comment on obstacles/irritation brought that to mind.  The LimeBike article mentions "responsible" park areas when someone is done.  Hopefully the team in charge of designating these areas does a good job to take sidewalk width in mind to avoid the obstacle/irritation aspect of it.  Otherwise love the concept, sadly I feel like B-cycle is Zipcar and these new entrants are the Uber/Lyft of the market.  Neither is a bad model, just the early entrant to sharing has the higher upfront cost only to see competition scoop right in.

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28 minutes ago, kermit said:

Life is gonna be tough for Bcycle -- they are stuck with a high cost structure and bike availability limited by dock location

That's a shame, I like Bcycle and the docking stations a lot. For me, it creates a sense of "belonging" wherever the docking stations are.

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1 hour ago, pathb said:

LimeBike arrives in Charlotte today.  Bringing 200 bikes.

http://amp.charlotteobserver.com/news/business/biz-columns-blogs/whats-in-store/article183323136.html

 

 

Rumor is that Spin is set to announce an additional 500 bikes today as well.  They are advertising a City Manager position for Charlotte on their website.  

 

Both of these companies have had big success in Seattle, varying levels of success in other cities.  Will be interesting to see how the Charlotte market responds to four bike share options (and a ton more bikes).

Great to see that LimeBike is coming to Charlotte as well.  They've been in Raleigh for a few months now, and they seem to be popular.  I usually see a few each time I visit the downtown/NCSU area.

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Limebike is the bomb.  They get heavy use out here and and there’s always one or two of them floating around any destination in the city.  

 

They are super handy for short, impromptu rides when you kinda just come along one.

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I've seen limebike in action in gboro (guess they got it a while before CLT). It's wildly popular. I can easily see them being even more popular in clt.

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1 hour ago, archiham04 said:

I saw two orange bikes at Camden and West this morning.  they looked like bike share bikes

Probably so.  Starting to show up in force in Uptown and South End

2017-11-10.png

6312078886522828812 (1).jpg

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On 11/11/2017 at 11:56 AM, uptownliving said:

The V Bikes look more rugged than the other shareable bikes. However I haven't ridden one to confirm it's actually a better bike.

IMG_20171111_110623.jpg

I don't like the low wall basket on this model. Makes the basket fairly impractical, I would not trust a bag of groceries staying in there. 

Seems like a bad design compared to he more traditional bikes for actual use.

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"But...that's a girls' bike"-

Jonathan Winters (funniest man ever in my life) "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World"

 

I saw 5 of them in Freedom Park this morning at 11:00 AM

Edited by tarhoosier

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7 hours ago, ah59396 said:

Bcycle is pretty much dead to rights though.  Dockless bikes are just too convenient.

Agree. Bcycle, Uber and TLR will all take a hit. Road LimeBike back and forth between South End and Uptown today. $1 per trip. Game changer.

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On 11/11/2017 at 9:48 AM, uptownliving said:

Invasion of the Dockless Bikes!

IMG_20171110_233814.jpg

As a cyclist, I hope that people realize that you don't need to park these things at bike racks. My biggest concern is that these bikes that don't need to be locked up are going to be blocking  rack space for those of us who do need to lock up.

16 hours ago, lewy2000 said:

Agree. Bcycle, Uber and TLR will all take a hit. Road LimeBike back and forth between South End and Uptown today. $1 per trip. Game changer.

I don't know how much B-cycle will take a hit. I'm sure it will be affected, but ultimately their business model is different than Lime/Spin/Vbike because they are targeting different users, so it depends on how much you actually bike.

If I'm taking a one off trip from point A to point B then sure, a $1 trip seems like a steal. But if I bike to work everyday, the $1 per trip gets out of control really quick. That's $2/day, or $10/week.  If I biked for 40 weeks worth of work days per year, that's $400 spent on biking. B-cycle charges something like $70 for an annual membership with unlimited rides, so if you're biking a lot for transportation (not recreation), it would actually be more cost effective to stay on B-cycle.  

I think it's ultimately a good thing, thought, since the cost should help get more people out on bikes who might not otherwise do it.

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