Bike share for Rancho Cordova & Folsom?

From the 50 Corridor TMA Communter Connections newsletter:

Bike Share recommendation advances to City Councils

This month, both the Rancho Cordova and Folsom City Councils will hear the 50 Corridor Bike Share Task Force recommendations in for launching a new bikeshare program using LimeBike as the program provider.

The Rancho Cordova City Council is expected to vote on the recommendation at its February 20 meeting which starts at 6 p.m.  The Folsom City Council will consider the recommendation on February 27 during its meeting which starts at 6:30 p.m.

A representative of LimeBike will make a presentation to the Folsom City Council.

Should both councils approve the recommendation, bike share should be available on the 50 Corridor by early April.

LimeBike e-bike

LimeBike features a dockless system – allowing users to park bikes at whatever destination is convenient.  The cost is expected to be $1 for 30 minutes, although a variety of pricing options will be available, including monthly subscription rates.  Electric assist bikes will also be available for $1 to unlock the bike and $1 per every 10 minutes.

The main goal of employing bike share along the 50 Corridor is to address first mile/last mile connections for Regional Transit’s Gold Light Rail Line.  However, bikes can be used for any kind of trip. And because the bikes are not linked to a particular rack (or dock), they can operate anywhere along the corridor where a need exists. 

I support these two cities using LimeBike. The two low density suburbs, Rancho Cordova and Folsom, could probably not support a dock system, but can support a dockless system. They might be able to support a dock-optional system like the Jump system coming to Sacramento, West Sacramento, and Davis in May.

Alameda and El Cerrito in the bay area have both recenly gone with LimeBike systems, rather than waiting for the uncertain time, if ever, when the dock system Ford GoBike would eventually expand to reach them. I have used both systems, a bit. One of the interesting things is that, without a geofenced boundary, the bikes end up outside of the two cities. For example, there are some LimeBikes from the El Cerrito system in Richmond, an adjacent city, and there are LimeBikes in Oakland, slopping over from the Alameda system. I don’t think this is a bad thing – the bikes are getting used by the people who need them for trips they want to make, and that means some bikes will be outside their city of origin. Though there is a Ford GoBike system in Oakland, the stations are sparse in southeast Oakland where I was riding.

I used a LimeBike to get from the El Cerrito Del Norte BART station up the hill to a dance venue, and from the Fruitvale BART station to my friend’s house up the hill. Until this weekend, I’d only used LimeBikes in flat areas. They are not great in hilly areas, being moderately heavy and having only three gears. But they served. I noticed a few electric LimeBikes on the app map, but so far have not had a chance to use one.

I noticed that some of the bikes in Oakland have a special icon, a money bag on top of the lime/wheel icon, indicating there is a $1 credit for moving the bike back closer to the point of origin. None of these were in places I needed them, but I think this serves the same purpose as the $1.50 credit for returning a SoBi bike to the geofenced hub locations. I am speculating, but I think LimeBike is OK with some dispersal into Oakland, particularly the downtown area and BART stations, but not OK with widespread dispersion. Time will tell.

Back to the potential Rancho Cordova and Folsom system. I would expect there will be some dispersion into areas outside the two cities, but I think the intensity of use along the corridor will keep most of them in the right areas, and the few that are not will be there because they represent valid active use for transportation.

The bike share open house tomorrow, Wednesday, February 21, 5:30-7:00PM, Sacramento City Hall, 915 I St, Sacramento, CA 95814 will hopefully provide substantial information about the function and coverage of the Jump system.

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