JUMP on Monday, August 6

We counted throughout the day of Monday, August 6, and generated the following data table and gif animation. Monday was not necessarily a typical weekday, as the middle days of the week may be more typical, and it was not a typical use day because the air quality was unhealthy for a portion of the day. The gif animation focuses on Sacramento central city. It is not possible to present much larger areas without losing icon and count detail.


JUMP count update 2018-08-04

There are clearly more bikes on the street now than at last count posting, but I’m not sure how many. The rumor was 100 more bikes in this last week, and 100 more in the week before, but so far I’ve not been able to get anyone to confirm or deny those numbers. If true, that would make a total of 500 bikes in the region. Since the total possible is not known, we can’t say what the availability percentage is. When there were 300 bikes possible, the percentage available ranged up to 56%, but I think that staffing is now catching up with demand and the percentage available may be ranging up to 74%.

I am curious about whether there is an industry standard for the availability of bikes. Since I am pretty sure that JUMP has the vast majority of electric assist bikes in service, and none of the electric bike share systems are very old, I have not been able to find any information. It is worth remembering that electric assist bike share did not even exist in 2016, and the NACTO 2017 bike share report does not mention electric assist bikes at all. This report was released May 2018, so the next report is months away. Of the bike share systems, the only ones with electric assist, so far as I know, are JUMP (dock-optional), Motivate (which operates most of the dock systems in the US), and LimeBike (dockless). I have seen a few Ford GoBike (a Motivate system) electrics in SF, but have not had the opportunity yet to ride one.

There are a number of people returning bikes to the drop zone (green) hubs, either for the 50 cent credit or out of the goodness of their hearts, and I think that is helping keep more bikes out on the streets because it makes it easier for JUMP staff to find and load these for West Sacramento to be charged. It is more likely now that hubs will actually have bikes available because charged bikes are being returned to hubs more frequently.

I was out last night returning low battery bikes to hubs (in between beers), and I saw about 80 bikes in use in various parts of the central city. I also saw ‘in repair’ (low battery) bikes being picked up by JUMP staff at the 17th & R drop zone, at about 10:00 at night, so there is real effort now to keep up with charging.

A caveat about all counts: These counts are done by hand by Dan, and Matt who is now helping, and of course they will not be 100% accurate. In fact, in the time it takes to count the bikes in the app, the numbers have changed, particularly at those times of day when a lot of bikes are in motion, commute hours and going out in the evening hours.

2018-08-04 10:00AM

  • Sacramento: 207 bikes, 94 in hub and 113 out of hub
  • West Sacramento: 57 bikes, 35 in hub and 22 out of hub
  • Davis: 50 bikes, 21 in hub and 29 out of hub
  • Total: 316 bikes

2018-08-02 6:46AM

  • Sacramento: 248 bikes, 125 in hub and 123 out of hub
  • West Sacramento: 59 bikes, 29 in hub, 30 out of hub
  • Davis: 58 bikes, 20 in hub, 38 out of hub
  • Total: 369 bikes (this is the largest number available that we have seen to date)

2018-07-31 6:22AM

  • Sacramento: 187 bikes, 94 in hub and 93 out of hub
  • West Sacramento: 50 bikes, 33 in hub and 17 out of hub
  • Davis: 67 bikes, 26 in hub and 41 out of hub
  • Total: 304 bikes

2018-07-30 1:41PM

  • Sacramento: 108 bikes, 46 in hub and 62 out of hub
  • West Sacramento: 33 bikes, 23 in hub and 10 out of hub
  • Davis: 52 bikes, 17 in hub and 35 out of hub
  • Total: 193 bikes (this afternoon low probably indicates both bikes in motion and ones that are ‘in repair’ low battery)

2018-07-30 6:17AM

  • Sacramento: 127 bikes, 76 in hub and 51 out of hub
  • West Sacramento: 32 bikes, 15 in hub and 17 out of hub
  • Davis: 55 bikes, 21 in hub and 34 out of hub
  • Total: 215 bikes

2018-07-28 6:30AM

  • Sacramento: 162 bikes, 62 in hub and 100 out of hub
  • West Sacramento: 37 bikes, 19 in hub and 18 out of hub
  • Davis: 30 bikes, 17 in hub and 13 out of hub
  • Total: 229 bikes

2018-07-27 6:30AM

  • Sacramento: 155 bikes, 75 in hub and 80 out of hub
  • West Sacramento: 35 bikes, 16 in hub and 19 out of hub
  • Davis: 45 bikes, 11 in hub and 34 out of hub
  • Total: 240 bikes (this is the first count that I think indicates the total bikes are now above 300)

JUMP count

July 19, 11:30PM (picked as a time when most bikes are parked, not traveling):

  • Sacramento, 68 bikes out of hub, 18 bikes in hubs, 5 bikes out of service area, total 91 bikes in service.
  • Davis, 37 bikes out of hub, 7 bikes in hubs (2 hubs), 1 bike out of service area, total 45 bikes
  • West Sacramento, 19 bikes out of hub, 2 bikes in hub, 0 bikes out of service area, total 21 bikes
  • total 157 bikes

July 20, 7:30AM (picked as a time when recharged bikes may have been distributed, though bikes will be traveling)

  • Sacramento, 63 bikes out of hub, 22 bikes in hubs, 5 bikes out of service area, total 90 bikes
  • Davis, 33 bikes out of hub, 7 bikes in hub, 1 bike out of service area, total 41 bikes
  • West Sacramento, 18 bikes out of hub, 2 bikes in hub, 1 bike out of service area
  • total 152 bikes

July 20, 11:00AM (picked as after the commute rush and before the lunch rush, though there are certainly bikes traveling)

  • Sacramento, 61 bikes out of hub, 10 bikes in hubs, 5 bikes out of service area, total 76 bikes
  • Davis, 36 bikes out of hub, 7 bikes in hub, 1 bike our of service area, total 41 bikes
  • West Sacramento, 5 bikes out of hub, 5 bikes in hubs, zero bikes out of service area, total 10 bikes
  • total 130 bikes

I am not able to compile these kind of statistics on a regular basis, but perhaps we (the users) could pick a few times of day and crowd-source the data.

JUMP hub count

JUMP is gradually adding hubs to the system. As of today, the counts I see are:

  • Davis: 3
  • West Sacramento: 7
  • Sacramento: 60

In Sacramento, the number of hubs exceeds the number of bikes available. at least at certain times of day. The city requirement was two rack spaces, not the JUMP ‘wave’ racks only, but also regular racks, per bike. The hubs have between four and twelve bike spaces, at least the ones I’ve visited. The number of available bikes as of this moment (8:30PM, 2018-07-02) is 51, but I’m sure there are bikes in motion. I saw five bikes being ridden while out on my evening walk.

People have been asking me questions about the bike share system, and pointing out that I have mixed feelings. Yes, that is true. I think it has the power to transform transportation in Sacramento, but is falling short at the moment. I am traveling and backpacking this summer, only occasionally in town, so it probably will not be until mid-August that I’ll have much to say about the system.

Remember, you can always comment on my posts (if you have commented before and been accepted, you comment will automatically get added, if not, I approve, or very rarely disapprove, as soon as I can). If you have written something, you can submit a link to that. Of, if you have more ambition, you can write your own posts for consideration for Getting Around Sacramento. I don’t want my voice to the the only voice.


Bike share is booming

I had a mindset for the last three weeks that the problem with the JUMP system was that bikes were not being used because they were not being charged and re-balanced. But my observations this weekend show that I had things flipped. The system is getting used so much that the bikes are running out of battery. Everywhere I went in the central city, I saw people riding them. I’d see a bike parked, and ten minutes later it was gone, in use by someone else. I don’t know when JUMP will provide rides-per-bike data to the partners, but I think it will indicate that, at least on weekends, each bike is getting many trips per day.

The app map this morning showed almost no bikes in the central city, and what there were were in low-battery status. On my walk, I saw five bikes in very low battery ‘in repair’ status, all within a few blocks of my home. Another had a dead GPS battery, which I think happens when they stay in ‘in repair’ mode for a long time. The bikes are still in the central city, but they are out of juice because they have been used so many times.

Two things users could do to help:

  • If you find a dead GPS battery bike, with the display blank and the keypad unresponsive, email JUMP at support@jumpbikes.com to let them know the location, street and cross-street. Include that it is in Sacramento, or West Sacramento, or Davis, as the bike numbers alone don’t pin down which city the bike is in.
  • If your destination is within a block, or perhaps two, of a hub, park at the hub. That not only makes it easier for the next person to find it, but makes it easier for the JUMP field crew to find it, particularly if it eventually goes to dead battery and drops off the system.

No hub or rack near your destination? You can submit location requests to JUMP at the same support@jumpbikes.com email address. There are a number of locations which have been identified for hubs but not yet installed. Some of them in repurposed parking spaces, marked with thick white lines and two delineators. But it doesn’t hurt to submit an already planned location, so go ahead. SACOG has promised a map of future hub locations, but I’ve not seen it. Presumably it will show up on the SACOG Bike Share page: https://www.sacog.org/bike-share.

a day in the life… of bike share

I saw a cool graphic of the flow of JUMP bike share bikes in San Francisco, and thought is would be interesting to do the same for Sacramento. The effect is not so dramatic, but it is interesting. I have zeroed in on the central city, which of course only tells part of the story, but this is the level at which bike and hub icons show, whereas the next zoom out only shows them as dots. I’d like to do this for a weekday as well, but probably won’t have the chance for several weeks, as I’m out of town.

The first one is Saturday, at a few points in time, the second one is Sunday, at three hour intervals. Maybe like watching paint dry, maybe better.



JUMP SF and Sac bikes

There are at least two San Francisco bikes in Sacramento, and I’ve come across them and ridden them. The most obvious, though subtle, difference is that the SF bikes have eight gears and the Sacramento bikes three, as befits the terrain. The shifting direction is reversed.

Since I rode these bikes on the same day that I rode Sacramento bikes, I could compare them directly, and the feeling I’d had when I’d ridden them several days apart turned out to be accurate. The bikes accelerate the same, but once reaching top speed of 15 mph for Sacramento bikes and 20 mph for San Francisco, the Sacramento bikes drop out of assist roughly, and continue to go in and out of it, surging and bogging down. The San Francisco bikes have a smooth transition, noticeable, but much smoother, going from assist to not in a comfortable manner.

The Sacramento bikes make a lot more noise than the San Francisco bikes. Sometimes people turn their head to look. Though I don’t know for sure, I suspect this is the result of whatever was implemented to limit the Sacramento bikes to 15 mph, which is not their design speed but a limitation imposed by the City of Sacramento. I’m concerned that the bikes may actually be damaged by this. I do know that when mechanical devices make a lot of noise, it is not a good sign.

I continue to believe that the 15 mph limitation was unnecessary and inappropriate.

Letter to Ryan Rzepecki

To summarize: Don’t. Please, don’t.

Why? Why not be bought out by Uber? Because the objectives and culture are not a good fit.

JUMP (SoBi) has a model of disruption based on offering a better product, meeting the need of people, and making a profit in the good work. Every SoBi employee I’ve had interactions with had a passion for making the world a better place through bike share. When there were problems, each person I spoke with or emailed made sure to get it right. SoBi works with the cities it goes into, negotiating the terms but wanting to make sure it works for the company, the city, and the users.

Uber is the exact opposite. Their business model of disruption is to break every law they can get away with breaking, to cut every corner. Their intent is to drive every competitor out of business, as they must if they are ever to stop losing money. They treat employees like dirt (yes, the drivers are employees by definition of labor law, though at least in the US Uber is so lawyered up that the federal government and state governments have either not been able to compel Uber to follow the law, or don’t care to. In every city in which it operates, in the US and in Europe, Uber has violated law after law after law.

These two things do not match, and can never match.

One of the great hopes that I have for electric bike share is that it can displace many of the ride hailing trips that exist because it is time competitive with and cost positive over ride hailing in denser urban areas. I see uncontrolled ride hailing as the worst thing that could happen to our cities, and anything that lessens that damage is a great thing. That puts the ideal of bike share in direct conflict with the idea of ride hailing. The terms ‘shared mobility’ and ‘mobility as a service’ are all the rage these days, but I don’t see any mode that uses low occupancy energy guzzling cars (electric just shifts impacts from fossil fuel burning at the car to fossil fuel burning at the power plant, at least so far) as complementing any other mode. They are not a complement, they are a competition.

But the biggest conflict is on the streets. Bike riders, the users of SoBi and JUMP bikes, want more than anything to be safe. But they can’t be safe so long as poorly trained commercial drivers (Uber) terrorize bicyclists by driving over the speed limit, making sudden right and left turns, and looking at smart phones instead of at the road. Uber drivers block bike lanes more often than other ride hailing companies. I’m not sure why, but suspect it has to do with drivers adopting the attitudes of their company.

When I am bicycling in San Francisco (headed there for the weekend right now), I can hardly even use bike lanes on many streets because they are blocked so often by ride hailing. Do they look when pulling in? Do they look when pulling out? Seldom. As a vehicular bicyclist, I know how to deal with this, to just use the general purpose lane and avoid the bike lane, but I assure you, this is not the experience most bicyclists are looking for.

Bicyclists want safety. Uber does not.

I am really concerned that this is the beginning of the end of SoBi/JUMP, and that would make me very sad. Uber may kill off bike share once it realizes that the values and goals of bike share are opposed to their own. Another not unlikely possibility is that Uber will go under, under the weight of endless lawsuits that will sooner or later start to be successful. If you run a criminal enterprise, it will eventually catch up with you, whether you are Uber or the president.

To summarize: Don’t. Please don’t

@jumpbikes @ryrzny

Better bike share ordinance

The City of Sacrament is set to adopt a bike share ordinance on Tuesday evening (agenda item 23). This is one more step along the way to bringing JUMP electric bike share to Sacramento, and on the whole the ordinance is good. But I have some suggestions for improving it.

5.18.210 Bicycle parking spaces required. No person shall operate a bicycle‐share business unless they have provided and maintain at least one and one‐half bicycle [designated] parking spaces using bicycle racks for every bicycle‐share bicycle to be operated by the bicycle‐share business, as approved by the city. The installation of bicycle parking spaces and bicycle racks are subject to encroachment permit requirements, as set forth in chapter 12.12.

I completely understand the city’s desire to have an orderly bike share system, where the bikes are in known locations and not scattered randomly. In my experience of dockless bike share in other cities, the concern about bikes left in inappropriate places is exaggerated but real. However, bike racks are not the only possible solution. The photo at right shows a solution from Seattle, still experimental, but with great promise. I would hate to see the city shut the door on other solutions by specifying bike racks when they could specify designated places, of which racks would be one. Bike racks are important, and preferred, but there will be many areas within the system boundaries which do not have racks, or do not have convenient racks.

5.18.220 Retrieval of bicycle‐share bicycles. A bicycle‐share business shall, within two hours of notice, retrieve their bicycle‐share bicycles that are in any of the following conditions.

  1. Bicycle‐share bicycles that are inoperable or not safe to operate, and parked in the public right‐of‐way;
  2. Bicycle‐share bicycles that are not locked to a bicycle rack in an upright position[, or locked within a designated bicycle parking area with the kickstand deployed];
  3. Bicycle‐share bicycles with a battery or motor determined by the city to be unsafe for public use.
  4. Bicycle‐share bicycles parked in violation of section 10.76.050.

This change is consistent with using designated areas, rather than just bike racks.

5.18.230 Electric bicycles. Electric bicycles shall comply with the California Vehicle Code and any other applicable laws and regulations[, and shall be of the Class 1 type (CVC 312.5. (a) (1): A “class 1 electric bicycle,” or “low-speed pedal-assisted electric bicycle,” is a bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour.]. In addition, electric bicycles shall be equipped with software or other mechanisms to prevent the motor from providing assistance when the bicycle’s speed exceeds 15 miles per hour.

I would like to see the 15 mph speed limit removed. There is anecdotal evidence, no research yet that I could find, that e-bikes are somewhat more dangerous that pedal bikes, with a higher crash rate. But many of the anecdotes don’t make clear whether the bikes were pedal assist, Class 1, or throttle, Class 2. Almost none say whether speed was a contributing factor, in fact some seem to be at low speeds, just getting going with a heavy bike. Some bikes with powerful batteries do start suddenly, but my experience with JUMP bikes in San Francisco is that they are pretty smooth as the assist starts and stops. The JUMP bikes are 250 Watt, which is on the low end of power for electric bikes.

The reason speed is important is that a bike at 20 mph is transformative. In moderate to heavy congestion in a urban area, such as most of the area within the system boundary, e-bikes at 20 mph can keep up with traffic. At 15 mph, they are just a regular bike with a little less effort involved. At 20 mph, they could replace many private vehicle trips, and many ride-hailing trips. We already know that private vehicles and ride hailing trips have a negative impact on livability and the environment. Here is a solution! Let’s set them free and see what a difference they can make.

bike share racks controversy

I attended the SACOG Transportation Committee meeting yesterday. Item 7 on the agenda, JUMP Bikeshare Contract Amendment, generated the most heat and most discussion of any item. The item would increase the amount allocated to the program by $48K. It was not the amount so much as the implications for bike racks that was controversial. The increase was to cover the difference between the cost of a shift from mostly corral racks, which had previously been specified, to JUMP “wave racks” (this is not the traditional meaning of wave rack) that were now being envisioned. Some of the exist Tower Bridge Bike Share Preview bike racks are of the corral type. The Santa Monica Breeze bike share racks are of the wave rack type. I can’t remember what the other SoBi systems have. Photos of each type are below, corral rack first and wave rack second.

Though the JUMP bike share system bikes will be owned by JUMP and operations are completely private, the rack capacity needed to make the system work are the responsibility of the three cities and the SACOG-led consortium. This is particularly so since Sacramento asked for a dock-optional system rather than the dockless system that JUMP is operating in San Francisco and Washington DC.

The City of Sacramento wants more of the wave racks to ensure that the bike share racks are not taken up by private bikes, making it impossible to park the JUMP bikes at the hubs. This is a reasonable concern in that Sacramento has far too few bike racks in most areas, and the bike share program will not install enough to overcome that deficit. However, many people on the committee questioned why an investment should be made in propriety racks when more racks are needed for everyone. The motion to recommend to the board was not passed, but a recommendation for the SACOG board to consider this issue was agreed to.

There was additional controversy about the JUMP bikes being assist-limited to 15 mph, though they are designed as legal class 1 electric bikes that can assist up to 20 mph. The other two cities apparently do not agree with this limitation.

There was also quite a bit of discussion of how alternative systems being implemented by Rancho Cordova and Folsom, and possibly other cities in the region, the dockless LimeBike, will affect or be affected by the JUMP systems and their bike racks. West Sacramento is permitting LimeBike Lime-E, an electric razor scooter type. I did not catch when that will go live.