Three New Jersey cities launching bike share program

February 19, 2014 6:32:53 PM PST
Three towns in New Jersey are forming the largest bike share program in North America.

Hoboken, Jersey City and Weehawken will launch the system this summer.

It will feature 800 smart bikes with built-in locks and communications equipment, different from the 'Smart Dock' approach used by New York City's popular Citi Bike program.

"Bike sharing is an affordable, sustainable, and convenient transportation option," said Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer. "We are excited to partner with leading innovators to bring this next-generation system to our residents, businesses and visitors at no cost to taxpayers. I am proud to build upon our successful pilot bike share program and work with our neighbors in Jersey City and Weehawken to create a regional system."

The program will be operated by Bike and Roll, the largest bike rental company in the United States, and will use bicycle technology manufactured by Nextbike, a leading operator and supplier of bike sharing systems with over 17,000 bicycles in 60 cities in 14 countries. E3Think is the economic, strategy and planning partner for the consortium, and investment capital will be provided by P3 Global Management, a smart city investment firm.

The system will feature "smart bikes," the next generation of bike share technology. Traditional bike sharing systems rely on a "smart dock" approach for storing bicycles, which requires expensive infrastructure for docking stations. The "smart lock" approach relies on bicycles with built-in locks and communications equipment, providing increased flexibility at a fraction of the cost of traditional systems.

Pricing options will include annual, weekly and daily memberships. Annual memberships will include free use for the first 45 minutes of each ride. Customers will be able to register online or at solar-powered kiosks. Members will be able to rent a bicycle via a customer card, mobile application (iOS and Android) or phone call via an interactive voice response system.

The two full-service pavilions, to be located in Hoboken and Jersey City, will include a bike share station, conventional bike rental, helmets and safety support, biking equipment, and tourist information.