Sacramento bike share update

There are a number of new white and green Lime bikes on the street in Sacramento. There are not the easy-to-steal white and green ones of a few months ago, some of which were promptly stolen and the others quickly pulled from service. Though they still seem to be called Gen 4 bikes, they now have a cable lock very similar to those used on scooters. I have seen more of these bikes downtown/midtown than elsewhere. See photo.

Lime bike cable lock

There continue to be red JUMP/Lime bikes on the street. I had the impression that there were fewer of these bikes than there used to be, but it may be that they are just being distributed differently. I’ve seen racks (the old SoBi/JUMP racks) full of these bikes, which had not had more than one or two bikes since the return of bike share. Lime does not make its GBFS (General Bikeshare Feed Specification) available to the public, nor does it have a map of bike share other than in the app, so it is difficult to say whether the bikes are being appropriately distributed/balanced.

While looking to see if there was a web map, I ran across an interesting ArcGIS Story Map from the City of Sacramento, Shared-Rideables in Sacramento. It was created in January 2022, and has not been updated, but is quite interesting.

Lime still seems to be failing to track and pick up dead bikes. By dead, I mean that the battery has run down to the point that it no longer powers the GPS unit, so Lime loses track of where these bike are. Several months ago there were a number of these bikes, reported to both Lime and the city, but not picked up after three weeks. Lime promised to me and to the city to do better. However, recently there were two bikes parked on the pathway from Sacramento Valley Station to the platforms for more than five days. Bike parked anywhere other than in very visible location on the street network do not get picked up for significant periods of time.

I used a Lime bike (white and green) Saturday without incident, returning from a trip. But on my outbound trip, using Lime/JUMP bikes, when I was on a tight schedule, I had no luck finding a bike that worked properly. The first one was stuck in first gear. The second had no pedal assist. The third had a jammed seat post that could not be adjusted. I managed to make the train on time, but barely. The bikes are simply not being maintained as they should be. I have noticed that if I report a problem, though the app, the bike is still there days later, and still rentable by another victim.

When reporting a bike problem, the app provides a limited number of issues (below), and no longer provides a text field for entering detail. The diagram says pedals, but there is no indication here or anywhere whether than means a problem with the pedals or cranks, or means problem with the pedal assist.

Lime app, problem report screen

One feature that was added to the app a few months ago that I really like is that the user can select scooters only, or bikes only, or both, for map display.

The app seems to show whether the bike in question is one of the new white and green ones or the older red Lime/JUMP bikes with the fabric covered locking cable. I’ve said before and will say again that it was a mistake for JUMP to drop the U-bar lock mechanism used on the SoBi and early JUMP bikes. So far as I know, a properly locked bike with U- bar was never was stolen.