I somehow completely missed this above image from Social Bicycles. Either that, or I was following the wrong facebook group.
I caught up with a Social Bicycle spokesperson at the Farmer’s Market today and was able to record a short video on how this bike-sharing works with some notes below.
- 100 bikes will eventually be in the system after Memorial Day
- You can lock the bikes anywhere, but it will cost you a small charge ($1 or $2) if you don’t lock it at a Social Bike Kiosk. The next person who uses that bike and returns it to the kiosk will receive a $1 credit. Social Bicycles have found that this system of penalty/reward has helped redistribute the bikes.
- Computer on the bike will tell you: 1) how many miles you went, 2) how many calories you burned, 3) your carbon footprint
- For locals/residents there is a $50 plan for the entire summer for 1 free hour of riding a day
- $5 hourly plan
“The city will open bids to food vendors as well as vendors to run a bike-share program. [LINK]
WHAAAAAT? But Social Bicycles just told me they’re still the vendors! Is this a mistake on Newsdays part? Some of my colleagues are convinced that something is up.
Related Article: BIKE SHARING IS STILL COMING THIS SUMMER
Last time I heard from Social Bicycles (SoBi) was on the boardwalk last summer when they told me they’d have 40 bikes by the fall [LINK]. That never happened, but winter did, so the topic went dormant until now.
I emailed SoBi last week, as did Project 11561, wondering what the deal was. As our minds ran amok with rumors and google searches, Project 11561 and I started to collaborate on a joint article, but in the mist of it all SoBi responded:
“We are certainly planning on being in Long Beach this summer! Look for us to start installing around town in the next two months. We’ll be up and running before summer begins.
Good news for those who are looking forward to having bike sharing back. I know it’s a touchy subject for some who feel the city should promote bike rentals with our local bike shops, but I have to admit, I am a fan of the kiosk format. When we had Decobike pre-sandy, I had a situation where a group of six rented bikes in the East End, road the boardwalk all the way to the west and ate at Swingbellys. It was a situation that never would have happened if those bikes weren’t there. So in my opinion, bike sharing does help local businesses.
- Related Articles: Social Bicycles
Based on what I am reading all over Facebook, last nights City Council meeting was a bit of a letdown for Local Cycles, who apparently tried to convince the city on letting them win the bid on bike-sharing in Long Beach. That prize is going to a NYC-based company Social Bicycles (see REPORT: SOCIAL BICYCLES, A NEW BIKE SHARING PROGRAM TO COME TO LONG BEACH). There are reports on how Social Bicycles will work with Local Cycles, but details on that are not set in stone yet, if any.
In the meantime, I just want to send a shout-out to our three local bicycle shops. Spring is just around the corner and NOW is the perfect time to buy a new bike, or tune-up your existing one.
- Buddy’s Bikes Etc 907 W. Beech St, Long Beach, NY 11561
- Local Cycles (Facebook website) 307 W. Park Ave, Long Beach, NY, United States 11561
- Long Beach Bicycle (website) 755 East Park Ave., Long Beach, NY 11561
Support our local businesses. Sure, you can buy a really cheap and crappy bike at Walmart, but it’s going to be heavy, junky and will break down faster than you think. Plus, what about service? I bought my bicycle at Long Beach Bicycle over 5 years ago and the owner still recognizes me when I go there. Enough said.
The March 18th City Council Agenda has a resolution authorizing the City to enter into a contract for a self-service bike rental sharing program. Enter: Social Bicycles (http://socialbicycles.com/). Possible terms are as follows:
- Five years with opinion to renew for an additional five
- City receives 20% of their gross income, half will be used for bicycle/ pedestrian infrastructure projects (YAY!)
Unlike DecoBike, which was solely in Miami, Social Bicycles currently operates in nine locations, including: San Francisco, Buffalo & Hoboken. Perhaps this more experience will bring a better product? Social Bicycles also uses an advanced wireless technology in their bikes which allows for all sorts of neat functions. Another cool function is the idea of being able to lock these bicycles at a standard bike rack. That wasn’t possible with Decobikes, unless you had your own lock. Check out the Social Bicycles website for more information on this really cool service: socialbicycles.com
More information on this deal with Long Beach will come at tomorrows city council meeting. City Council Agenda is posted below: