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Dockless’ Bike Sharing Program Launches In Imperial Beach

A row of green LimeBikes is seen parked by the Imperial Beach pier, Sept. 12,...

Photo by Andrew Bowen

Above: A row of green LimeBikes is seen parked by the Imperial Beach pier, Sept. 12, 2017.

Dockless bike sharing company LimeBike officially launched in Imperial Beach on Tuesday, bringing the growing new technology to San Diego County.

The neon green bikes are equipped with GPS tracking and a lock on the back that users can open with a smartphone app. CEO Toby Sun said without the expense of maintaining docking stations, LimeBike can offer cyclists a cheaper way to rent a bike for shorter periods of time.

"It's very convenient, very affordable," he said. "We're proud to be here launched in our first Southern California city."

Rides start at $1 per half hour, with students getting a 50 percent discount and members of the Navy riding for free through October, Sun said.

Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina said his city is working to make car-free transportation a more viable option.

"We took the opportunity to partner with LimeBike as an opportunity to see how we can really improve access to our open spaces and our city among all our residents and visitors alike," he said.

LimeBike is already operating in seven other cities, including Seattle and Dallas, and eight college campuses. Sun said he is currently in talks to launch in Coronado and on the SDSU campus.

The Chinese dockless bike sharing company OFO briefly operated on the UC San Diego campus this year before university officials shut it down because the company had not gotten permission.

San Diego's bike sharing program, DecoBike, was called out in a county grand jury for failing to attract regular commuters and appealing to tourists instead. City officials announced this month that they would relocate several DecoBike stations from beach communities frequented by tourists to locations in the city's urban core.

Imperial Beach is getting a new "dockless" bike sharing program, LimeBike. Users can pick up, ride and park the bikes anywhere in the city, rather than having to keep the bikes at fixed stations.

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