Ride Sharee works with City Council to draft rules for dockless bike parking
When you rent a bicycle from Ride Sharee, there isn't a bike rack to return it to. That's because the bikeshare is dockless.
KAKAAKO, Hawaii - When you rent a bicycle from Ride Sharee, there isn't a bike rack to return it to. That's because the bikeshare is dockless.
"If we make the rules and regulations up front, in this case we want to set up bike parking zones. We instruct people where to park," Ride Sharee owner Alex Wong said. Ride Sharee is registered to conduct business under the name Neptune New Solutions LLC.
Wong launched Ride Sharee cautiously on October 22. "I make sure there is control in terms of how many are allowed on the streets and where," Wong said.
When LimeBike brought its dockless scooters to Honolulu in May, the Mayor was upset at the lack of rules around parking, and briefly impounded them.
Wong only put two dozen bikes on the street. "That's the reason for the slow rollout. To monitor people's behavior," Wong said.
He's sharing his input with the City Council. Councilmember Trevor Ozawa introduced a bill to regulate this growing bike share industry. His office confirms it's working with Ride Sharee to refine the bill.
"We're really trying to focus on behavior. Previously a lot of bike and scooter companies, they just drop them on the street without a lot of public outreach programs," said Wong, who adds that the company is educating the public about where to park the bikes, either at private locations shown on its app, or at any public bike rack for a fee.
He's coming up with incentives- for example: "For every five good parking, you get one free ride. Something like that. Just to incentivize good behavior," Wong said.
Wong is also working with the City's transportation department. "We're working also with the Department of Transportation Services to look at fines and penalties for indiscriminate parking," Wong said.
Riders like Bud Dragoo says some riders need that deterrent. "If they don't have a penalty for doing that I can see where it doesn't make any difference to them," Dragoo said.
There are 24 Ride Sharee bikes on the road right now. Wong hopes to roll all 400 of them out by next spring.
The City Council bill is on hold while the City's Transportation Department's task force studies the issue further. So far, Bill 57 unanimously passed the first reading at the council (with one council member absent) on September 12.
At the time, Transportation Services Deputy Director Jon Nouchi issued the following statement: “The city supports the development of multimodal transportation alternatives and welcomes Ride Sharee as another option for residents and visitors to explore our city. It appears Ride Sharee is committed to a business model that utilizes only private property to conduct all commercial transactions to rent bicycles that are self-powered by the rider. However, all companies should be aware that city property, including public bicycle racks, cannot be used for commercial transactions until and unless they first obtain authorization from the city.”
The department had no further comment on Wednesday.
We reached out to the other dockless service, LimeBike, to see if it's also working with the City Council to refine Bill 57, but it hasn't yet returned our request for comment.