If you pick up one of the $ icon bonus bikes in Sacramento and return it to one of the drop zone hubs, you actually have 15 minutes to park to receive the full credit. After 15 minutes, you are charged the regular minute rate. For example, if you took a $ bike and rode it for 30 minutes, you would get the credit of 50 cents, but subtracted from that would be 15 minutes times 7 cents (the per minute charge is not exactly 7 cents, but close enough), so $1.00 would be deducted, for a total of minus 50 cents. It is still a good deal, as compared to the $2.00 you would have paid otherwise, but returning low battery bikes to drop zone hubs is a good bike share community act, valuable regardless of the credit.
The threshold for bikes going into repair mode from low battery changed about a week ago. A $ icon bike no longer goes into repair mode all the time, but rather it depends on the battery level. I have not exactly pinned down at what battery level this is, but it is below the 35% level at which a bike gets the $ icon. I think it is about 25%, which I also think is the level at which the app shows ‘low’ instead of a percentage, but I need more observations to pin this down. At any rate, you still get the drop zone credit whether or not the bike goes into repair.
Since bikes will be available at lower battery levels than before, it becomes more important for the user to look at the battery level and determine whether there is enough to reach the destination. The GPS unit display shows battery level, but it is a little hard to determine exactly what it is, and the battery level may change as the GPS unit corresponds with the network. The app gives an exact level.
I heard from a JUMP staff that there are now 600 bikes in the region. Of course some are in the warehouse being charged and some are in repair mode, so there are always fewer available, but this is a significant increase over time from the initial 300.