The towns of Hoboken, Jersey City, and Weehawken will launch a regional bike share system this summer that will be the largest next-generation bike share system in North America. The system will feature 800 smart-bikes, 50 bike stations, and two full-service pavilions at no cost to the cities.
“We are very excited to participate in the bike share program,” said Weehawken Councilwoman Rosemary Lavagnino. “This program will allow residents to leave their cars at home while still giving them access to Weehawken and their neighboring communities.”
Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop was equally enthusiastic.
“Providing a new transportation option while simultaneously reducing pollution, traffic congestion and demand for parking is a home run,” he said, “especially given that that it won’t cost the taxpayers a cent.”
Pricing options will include yearly, weekly, and daily memberships.
Operator is largest in North America
The program will be operated by Bike and Roll, the largest bike rental company in the United States, and will use bicycle technology manufactured by Nextbike, a leading operator and supplier of bike sharing systems with over 17,000 bicycles in 60 cities in 14 countries. E3Think is the economic, strategy and planning partner for the consortium, and investment capital will be provided by P3 Global Management, a smart city investment firm.
“Bike and Roll is excited to have been selected to operate this cutting edge bicycle sharing system for Hoboken, Jersey City and Weehawken,” said Chris Wogas, president of Bike and Roll. “Together with our partners, we are bringing a technologically advanced network of bikes to these cities with zero cost to taxpayers. This is truly a value added program for the cities, its residents and visitors.”
Pricing options will include annual, weekly and daily memberships.
“The time is right to introduce an economic and flexible bike sharing program made in Germany to the USA,” said Ralf Kalupner, founder and managing director of nextbike GmbH. “Bike sharing needs to be economic and that’s what we have proven for the last 10 years.”
The Nextbike Cruiser Comfort bike features a seven-gear shift, puncture-resistant tires, integrated LED lights with stand-light function, hub dynamo, kickstand, basket, bell, mudguard, chain guard, hand and coaster brakes, and height-adjustable seat.
“Bike share is the core of new urban mobility for cities around the world,” said Tom Glendening, president of E3Think. “In contrast to the expensive technology in some markets, Nextbike’s low cost, flexible smart-bike technology offers a very, very positive future. This bike share program could very well be a model for cities across the globe.”
Towns might actually make money
Revenue sources for the program will include sponsorships, advertising, and user fees, and the cities will receive a percentage of profits after capital expenditures have been recouped.
“We see bike share programs as a cornerstone of economically and socially healthy cities,” said Jim Campbell, CEO of P3GM. “We are thrilled to have been selected by Jersey City, Hoboken and Weehawken to bring this enormous benefit to their citizens, tourists and students alike.”
Annual memberships will include free use for the first 45 minutes of each ride. Customers will be able to register online or at solar-powered kiosks. Members will be able to rent a bicycle via a customer card, mobile application (iOS and Android) or phone call via an interactive voice response system.
The two full-service pavilions, to be located in Hoboken and Jersey City, will include a bike share station, conventional bike rental, helmets and safety support, biking equipment, and tourist information.
The contract award required the approval of the municipal councils of the three towns.