I just learned how there are differences between the blue and white Social Bicycles. Not only are the white ones a bit more rust resistant and have better tech, but they also have more speeds. The blue bikes are three-speeds, while the whites go up to eight. That’s just a little bit of info if you want to have that extra edge over your bike-sharing riding partner.
In other Social Bicycle news, they just added more Sobi Bike Stations around town. One at Key Food in the east end, the other at Minnesota’s in the west. For more information on Social Bicycles in Long Beach, visit: www.sobilongbeach.com.
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
“Keep activity and Kiosk queues out of the flow of the boardwalk traffic [LINK]
The bike kiosks will most likely be moved to the bump-outs upon completion. Based on the Boardwalk Phase II Timeline, the Riverside Blvd Comfort Station should be completed on May 25th. I took this photo the other day of the progress, but so much has been done since then:
As you can see behind the WALK BIKES sign at Edwards Blvd, work on other comfort stations have already began as well. In other news: What’s the deal with that WALK BIKES sign? It’s clearly not for the ramp.
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.
Do you think the bike share stations should be on the boardwalk? Street level? What do you think??? [PROJECT 11561]
I have no idea how to actually share a specific facebook thread, but the majority of the folks seem to feel that street level is the way to go. You know what? I agree! With all the food carts and people on the boardwalk already, perhaps the bike sharing stations would work better street level. Like what somebody wrote, “Bikes on the Street, Signs on the boardwalk.” What do you folks think?