Have you ever wished you could summon a bicycle with your smartphone, take it where you need to go, then leave it wherever you wish? Dockless bikes, which have locking rear wheels to use when the bikes are no longer needed, are rapidly becoming popular throughout California. Imperial Beach, National City, Coronado and many college campuses already have networks of dockless bikes. But will the trend reach San Diego, the largest market in the region?
If so, it could be a while. The city has an exclusive deal with docked bike sharing provider DecoBike which could prevent any other companies from providing similar services. San Diego is the only city in the region where this potential conflict arises.
Dockless bike companies believe that there is enough of a difference between docked bike sharing and dockless bike sharing that the exclusive contract does not preclude the implementation of dockless bike sharing.
Allowing dockless bike sharing could be the key to bolstering bicycle ridership in San Diego by providing a more attractive option than docked bike sharing, which requires the cyclist to seek out a dock station when finished with the bike. If people could find bikes and leave them wherever they wish, more people might consider switching to biking as a major method of transportation. Additionally, providing more cycling options could help the city reach the goals outlined in our Climate Action Campaign, which hopes to increase the number of people cycling to work in densely-populated areas from 2 to 6 percent by 2020 and then to 18 percent by 2025.
What do you think? Should dockless bicycle providers be allowed to move into San Diego? Would you use a dockless bicycle?