Dockless bike pilot program launches in New York City

ROCKAWAY BEACH, Queens (WABC) -- Dockless bikes have arrived in New York City, and it's not just offering regular bicycles.

There's also electric bikes, giving riders a little extra zip on their trip.

It's all part of a pilot program that rolled out in Rockaway Beach Friday.

"There is no more fitting place in New York City to roll out our dockless bikes than the Rockaways," Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "Residents and visitors alike will now find the Rockaways' world class beaches, restaurants and other attractions more accessible than ever."

The bikes can be rented, but unlike Citi Bikes that you see in places like Manhattan, they don't have to be returned to a dock. They can be left at any bike rack or in the area, as long as it's between the curb and sidewalk.

There are several companies involved, but only Lime and Pace are involved in the initial launch. Riders can use either app to rent bikes all along the Rockaway peninsula.

Pace will offer 50 bikes starting Friday, with a total of 200 bicycles available within a week. Lime, which offers both regular and pedal-assist bikes, is introducing 100 regular bikes initially and will add 100 pedal-assist bikes after July 28.

Each company's bikes are priced for rental at $1 per 30-minute ride, while Lime's pedal-assist bikes will cost $1 to unlock and then 15 cents per minute thereafter.

Another company named JUMP is owned by Uber, and riders will soon be able to also rent the bikes on the Uber app.

The electric bikes have small motors that allow for speeds of up to 20 miles per hour.

Later this month, the bike share pilot will expand as bikes arrive on the North Shore of Staten Island with bikes provided by JUMP and Lime. After that, bikes provided by JUMP and ofo will be provided in the area around Fordham University in the central Bronx. Later this year, Coney Island will also host a pilot with bikes supplied by Motivate.

During the pilot, the Department of Transportation will carefully evaluate companies' compliance with requirements around data accessibility and user privacy. Evaluation criteria will also include the safety, availability and durability of the bikes themselves. In the evaluation period, DOT will also determine future steps, including the possible implementation of pilots in different or expanded geographic areas.

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