WPCNR COMMON COUNCIL CHRONICLE-EXAMINER. By John F. Bailey. February 27, 2019.UPDATED:
Mayor Tom Roach introduced the concept of bicycles for rent ten months ago in May, 2018, when two companies were selected to introduce fleets of smart looking bicycles to rent by smart phone apps in White Plains. One company left the city after two months.
Lime Bikes stayed and ten months later the local managers of the Lime operation of 300 bikes (activated by phone ap), declared the program a success.
In ten months of availability at cluster locations in White Plains, the company reported 8,900 unique riders have taken 43,000 trips at a $1 a HALF- hour each, the average length of trip being 9 minutes. Of the 8,900 unique riders, each averaged 4 trips a month. 62% of riders take another trip within 30 days.
The most bicycle trips are to and from the White Plains Train Station. Other destinations are White Plains Hospital and Mamaroneck Avenue. The main complaint comes from bikes being parked in residential areas. An efficient bicycle retrieval sweep daily has cut down on the residential bike dropoffs. (No statistics were stated).
The company is eager to continue the program with the city.
They introduced a battery-equipped bike that through a torque system, supplements the power of a cyclist’s pedaling that will supply extra power to a cyclist when climbing hills.
The presenters told the council that the torque boost only works when the cyclist is pedaling. They hope to introduce the “Lime Lightening” (as WPCNR has dubbed the new bike) on April 1, and bring more to the Lime White Plains Fleet May 1. The battery-equipped bikes will be swapped out with a certain number of the solely cyclist powered bikes, the exact ratio to be determined by the power bike popularity. An addition of 15 cents per minute will be added to the $ 1 charge per hour, for the convenience of the torque-battery bike, they said.
Concerns were raised about safety issues, but the managers presenting did not have any knowledge of accidents involving the bikes. Councilman Dennis Krolian raised concerns about insurance, but the presenters said that in being eligible to rent the bicycles by purchasing the Lime bike app, the user of a Lime Bike agrees to a waiver of liability. The managers said they are in the process of creating an data retrieval system that would track accidents and incidents.
The Council, WPCNR believes has to make the demo program permanent or extend the Pilot.