First and Last Mile Solutions: Dockless Bike Share

Whether your experience is seamless or filled with bumper to bumper traffic or train delays, the daily commute to and from home is a daily part of life for the average person. According to Visual Capitalist, the average one-way commute time in the United States is 26 minutes. Depending on your city/state though, that average time could increase or decrease significantly.

Long commute times have the potential to increase stress in individuals, among a myriad of other problems. According to Mother

One possible method of increasing mobility in low-income areas and transit deserts is dockless bike sharing. It’s a concept that has been slowly rolled out in major cities across the US in recent years, with one of the prime examples being Washington, DC. Other cities include San Francisco, Seattle and Dallas. While companies and locations may vary each city has a common goal of broadening transportation options,

This past July, the New York Department of Transportation (DOT) announced the rollout of it’s dockless bike-share pilot program. The DOT sought out companies who provided dockless bikes in the hopes of alleviating crowd and construction concerns. While 12 companies expressed interest in the opportunity, the DOT ultimately narrowed their selection to 5 companies.

While the concept of bike sharing is not completely new, as the Citi Bikes have been an option in the city, their usage requires the bikes to be returned to docking stations. In addition, Citi Bikes are not available city wide and are typically available in high-income areas such as Midtown Manhattan and Long Island City, Queens.

As the name implies, dockless bike sharing eliminates the extra step of riders having to travel to a predetermined docking station to return their bikes. This allows for users to return the bikes based on proximity and be charged within a smartphone app.

One of the companies chosen to participate in the DOT’s program is Lime Bike, a company that describes itself as “smart mobility for the modern world” and is committed to serving communities. As part of the pilot program, Lime Bikes are now available in the Rockaways (Queens) and North Shore (Staten Island). These areas were previously void of bike sharing, but have since received 200 bikes each as part of the rollout.

From a cost perspective, a single ride on a LimeBike is $1, whereas 30 minutes on a CitiBike is $3 and a single ride MetroCard is $2.75. LimeBike also offers a monthly membership for $29.95, just a few dollars shy of the cost of a weekly MetroCard.