White and Blue aren’t equal when it comes to Social Bikes

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.

Social Bicycles is a go! [Watch video for Demo]

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

Bike Sharing racks will most likely go on the bump-outs [once they are made]

There seems to be a lot of conversation in this thread regarding the placement of the Social Bicycle kiosks on the boardwalk:

IMG_2473Have no fear. “Obstructing the boardwalk” was a major concern at the Boardwalk Phase II meetings (BOARDWALK PHASE II MEETING – MY EXPERIENCE) and the city responded:

“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.

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Bike Sharing…. The Plot Thickens

My last article on this topic was posted under NEWS. This one is under RUMORS.  What is really going on with Bike Sharing? Hot of the presses in Newsday:

“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.


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.

socialbicycleslongbeachGood 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.

Q: Do you think the bike share stations should be on the boardwalk or Street level?

socialbicycleslongbeachA very interesting conversation as sprung up on Project 11561 regarding Social Bicycles (SoBi) bike sharing stations, which I would love to share with you all:

SoBi Long Beach the Bike share company that is coming to LB next year posted a question on the City of Long Beach, New York (OFFICIAL)Facebook page. 

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?

For more information on Social Bicycles, I  recently posted an update a few weeks ago: SOCIAL BICYCLES: BIKE SHARING IN LONG BEACH UPDATE