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How San Diego Is Responding To The Dockless Bike Craze

A row of dockless bike-sharing bicycles are parked on a sidewalk in downtown San Diego, March 23, 2018.
Susana Tsutsumi
A row of dockless bike-sharing bicycles are parked on a sidewalk in downtown San Diego, March 23, 2018.
How San Diego Is Responding To The Dockless Bike Craze
How San Diego Is Responding To The Dockless Bike Craze GUEST:Zack Bartlett, general manager for San Diego, LimeBike

>> It has been an invasion of brightly colored bicycles. In the past month thousands of bags of swarm San Diego brought by despite companies. Users download an app that tells them where to find the Buycks, unlock them with the phone and leave them when they are done. Some people have been vandalizing the Buycks Leslie Linneman hard to get to places. The city of Coronado said they would start impounding bright because by companies were denied access to operate their. >> The city of Coronado has denied line bike a permit to operate their but your bikes in the Buycks of other doctors bike sharing companies do sometimes end up in the city limits and now the city says it will compound the Buycks if they are left in public basis. So what is line bike doing in response? >> We are definitely sensitive to the concerns of Coronado we went before the Midshipman September to try to set up a business partnership but we want to work with the city to figure out how to solve the problem together. Now we are seeing up the silver strand or on the ferry people who want to explore Coronado take our bikes over and ultimately the Buycks can be left behind. We want to get ahead of this as much as possible. We are taking proactive steps, we are creating a no parking zone for Coronado and talking to the folks at the ferry to educate users that if you want to take a break over and enjoy the island you can but you need to return them . >>> How many Buycks do you have? >> We have thousands of Petabytes to hundreds of electric bikes and hundreds of scooters. It is something that is always adjusting. >> Have you seen high rates of vandalism in some of the Buycks and scooters? >> They are fairly lower the overall much more good actors and directors. >> How should users of line bike take care of the Buycks? >> -- The bicycles? >> We have a whole bunch of safe riding information as well as the parking information so I would say that would be the first step in figuring out how best to use the bicycles other than that follow the folks around you. As we progress in the city and become more entrenched and ingrained in the culture, hopefully the general populace will figure out how best to safely operate the vehicle so any new users can see what your neighbor is doing . >>> Where are people supposed to park their line bike when they are done writing it? >> We asked them to park it the way they would responsibly parked their own bike. We asked that people Park them out of the right-of-way and no where it will create a public issue. >> Some residents have complained that line breaks and other doctors bikes are blocking the sidewalks. >> Safe parking is up to writers but what we can do on our and to make sure the fleet looks good and make sure it is something everyone can use is to go around that we have a 24/7 operations team on patrol and they are looking for anything that could be blocking ADA access or is visibly out of place or perhaps needed maintenance. Those teams do pilot the city morning and at night and they go out of their way to make sure the issues are addressed. >> How many staff do you have lacks >> The staff is a moving target that we are always leveling and we are hiring . >>> Do they not just new bikes when they are parked in improper areas but also placed in strategic areas where you see higher rates of usage? >> Yes. Articles are one to make sure the bike is in good shape in getting used in the others to canvass the entire city. We want to serve every citizen of San Diego. So that is always our goal. >> They have asked for temporary ban on the bike sharing craze in San Diego because of the parking issues and sometimes blocking sidewalks. What are your thoughts on that? >> With any to technology there will be growing pains. We are heavily dedicated to partnering with businesses and to create solutions that work for everyone. This technology is beneficial for business as we've seen in other cities. What we have seen is generally this is more of a value add than the opposite and we just need to hammer out some of the smaller issues of front so we can really enjoy this technology. >> Some of the pro-bicycle folks say that the solution is not to place a temporary ban on your company or others like your company, but rather to have wider sidewalks or more dedicated parking so they know where to place them. Do you agree With that? >> Yes. One of the big steps towards building better bike infrastructure and transportation infrastructure is being able to have the data and being able to see what technology like this can actually do as far as impacting the way a city gets around what we've seen already with 21,000 new users, 55,000 rides in the first two weeks and 25,000 pounds of CO2 saved. A lot can be done we just need to partner on solutions that will work for the city. >> Does line bike have any plans to expand in other areas of San Diego? >> Our main focus is the city of San Diego. We are cracking away at the 1.5 million people everyday but as far as expansion, we do operate out of LA we're trying to connect the two . >>> That was the general manager of line bike Zach manager speaking with Andrew Bowen.

It's been an invasion of brightly colored bicycles. In the past month, thousands of new bikes have appeared on San Diego street corners, brought by dockless bike sharing companies.

To rent the bikes, users download an app that tells them where to find a bike, unlock it with their phone, and then they can leave it wherever they want when they're done.

But some people have been vandalizing the bikes, or leaving them in hard-to-get-to and inconvenient places, like in the middle of a sidewalk in front of a business.


The city of Coronado said this week it would start impounding bikes left on the island. Companies, like LimeBike, were denied permits to operate in the city of Coronado, but people who rent the bikes from nearby areas take them to the city and sometimes leave them there.

Zack Bartlett, LimeBike's San Diego manager, said the company wants to correct the problem.

"We're creating a no-parking zone for Coronado that will be visible on the app. We are also talking to folks at the ferry to see if we can educate users that 'sure, if you do want to take your bike over and enjoy the island that's great.' I think everyone is behind that. 'But if you could kindly bring it back to the city of San Diego when you're done, that will help everyone involved,'" Bartlett said.

LimeBike launched operations in the city of San Diego on Feb. 15. Bartlett said the company has thousands of bikes, hundreds of electric-assisted bikes and hundreds of scooters in the city. He said each product is being used almost daily.

In the first two weeks of operation, the company had 21,000 new users and 55,000 rides which equated to 25,000 pounds of CO2 saved, Bartlett said.


Bartlett joins Midday Edition on Thursday to discuss how its first month operating in San Diego has gone.

Corrected: September 26, 2023 at 11:53 AM PDT
Michael Lipkin contributed to this story.