A different kind of bike share story: Closing down
Sadly, not all bike share programs succeed or continue, particularly when they are pilots, as is the case in Hoboken, N.J.The six-month trial period almost completed and it’s taking a break and its future remains murky.
Social Bicycles — a startup based in Manhattan — is partnering with Hoboken on a 25 bikes which they saw just over 3,000 rides in the last six months. The program is judging by their website, they appear eager to expand to other locations. Social Bikes are ‘smart’: All of the communications technology is housed on-board in a solar-powered box above the back wheel.
This program is ending becouse of lacking of funds, drawing attention to the critical need for bike share programs to balance their books with user fees, private donations, foundation grants, and public subsidies.
The highest traffic during the week occurred during prime commuting hours, while the weekends showed heavy activity along the waterfront.
User costs for SoBi were listed:
Program membership is $15 per month or $75 for the full season through November 15, 2013. Membership includes one free hour of pedaling per day. Additional hours will cost $10 per hour.
While the Hoboken’s program may be ending, the county in which it is located, Hudson, home to 12 municipalities, is exploring operating its own program as a grant has been secured for a feasibility study, through a $95,000 grant from Together North Jersey, an initiative formed through the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, a federal planning organization.
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