Didn't see this shared yet....
I just heard about this bike share model on WBEZ. Thoughts? I'm intrigued!
This sounds really cool. I'm working on riding all of the world's bikeshares. The dockless shares give me a whole new category to work through!
I rode Sacramento's bike share earlier this summer. The bikes come with locks so you can lock up outside CVS, etc., without needing a dock. Smart idea, especially for a smaller system with not that many stations.
I didn't use it, but saw a similar bikeshare system in downtown Detroit a few years ago.
Healthy Ride in Pittsburgh has built in locks that would allow for this. The black cable in this picture has a spike that you insert through the front fork. There is a keypad over the rear tire to enter the unlock code.
I rented this bike from a station that was out of service due to construction. There were a bunch of locked, un-docked bikes on the sidewalk in front of the taped off docks.
Seattle already has three dockless bike share companies operating there: Spin, LimeBike and Ofo. I hope one will venture into the Chicago scene and am surprised no one has already, but that may be of course because Divvy is strong here, albeit with docking stations.
The main benefit I see to having an alternate dockless system here would be that it would give a good alternative when no Divvy bikes are available nearby, which is something I experience more than I'd like to.
The drawbacks are that the pricing of the dockless systems are even higher than Divvy ($1 per ride, or $30 per month), and will therefore be even less accessible to the masses than Divvy. Also, as far as I know, there is no system of re-balancing bikes, meaning the dockless bikes will end up clumping in areas of highest usage, likely affluent areas, and therefore contribute to the overall geographic inequity of bike share.
I wonder if there's a way to mark a bike as locked but still in use, not "docked". Like if you were running errands and needed to make a few quick stops. It would suck if you lost use of the bike in the middle of your trip and another was not nearby. Might be less of an issue the more bikes they have. But balancing the spread of the bikes might be a challenge for the company. You might find most bikes downtown with few in the neighborhoods after morning rush hour. Where do you relocate bikes if there are no docks?
You can "save" a bike for five minutes, like when you're inside somewhere and there's one a block or two away that you want to use. I imagine you could park the bike, lock it, and then immediately save it so you can do a short errand.
As for where you park them, anywhere in a public location within the designated usage geographic usage area, as I understand it. Like, on sidewalks next to the curb.