The city plans to expand its dockless bike share pilot to all of Staten Island beginning this summer, amNewYork has learned.
JUMP — which is operated by Uber — and Lime together have 400 bikes distributed around the borough’s northern shore, but it doesn’t appear that the city has picked either just yet for its expansion. The Department of Transportation on Monday issued a request for applications from companies looking to be part of a borough-wide bike share network.
“Based on this experience and feedback received from vendors and general public that participated in the pilots, [DOT] now wishes to evaluate this Project at the network level, in a careful and controlled fashion …” reads the request.
The island’s dockless pilot launched last June, peppering the borough with a mix of traditional bikes as well as pedal-assist e-bikes, as part of several small pilots around the city. A borough-wide expansion appears to have been in the works for some time, as Polly Trottenberg, the city’s DOT commissioner, said at a City Council hearing in March that she saw “tremendous potential” in the idea.
“In last year’s pilot, we learned that Staten Islanders love bike share, and we often found that their rides sometimes drifted outside of the North Shore boundaries we set last summer,” said Trottenberg in a statement. “So now that riders have voted with their feet, we want to have the entire island to be available to them."
Staten Island commuters logged 61,000 trips on JUMP and Lime bikes since last summer, according to DOT. Lime said its bikes accounted for roughly 34,000 of those trips. Uber did not share its individual bike trip totals.
“Lime is proud of the success of its dock-free bike share programs in the Rockaways and Staten Island, and would love to see them grow so that more New Yorkers who need reliable, affordable transportation have access to our vehicles," said Phil Jones, a senior director at Lime, noting the two pilot locations where the company’s bikes are available.
The city plans to roll out an all-island network in “tranches" beginning this July, according to the request. The request states the city prefers to have multiple companies operating as part of a complete Island network, with the city setting the permissible number of companies and bikes for operation. The request leaves open the option for companies offering either regular bikes or pedal-assist e-bikes.
"Bike share programs shouldn’t be reserved for a small handful of communities, and our hope is to make JUMP available across all of Staten Island — whether you live in Tompkinsville or Tottenville," said Harry Hartfield, an Uber spokesman, in a statement. "Today’s announcement is an important step in making sure there are no ‘forgotten boroughs’ when it comes to bike sharing."