What Are Those Orange Bikes?

What Are Those Orange Bikes?

What are those Orange Bikes popping up in Miami Springs?  They are called dockless or stationless bikes from a company called SPIN. They allow you to rent a bike using your phone and go anywhere.

Welcome to bike sharing in Miami Springs.

Bike sharing is not new to South Florida.  Miami Beach and the City of Miami have been using Citi Bikes as a way to offer riders access to bikes for a few years now. 

What is NEW is dockless bike sharing. 

The difference between Citi Bikes and Spin is that the Spin bikes don’t require you to return the bike to a dock.  This lowers the operational costs of the company to distribute the bikes without the station infrastructure or real estate required.  This also allows the dockless companies to charge less per ride in exchange for the municipality’s permission to operate within the city limits.  

The concept is simple.  You download an app to your phone.  You register a payment method.  You use the app to find the bike closest to you.  You walk up to the bike.  You scan a QR code with the app and it unlocks the bike.  Then, you get on the bike and ride.  When you’re done, you basically leave the bike responsibly wherever you want so that another rider may use the bike later.  The bikes are equipped with solar panels to charge the electronics including locking mechanism and GPS tracker.

Here’s a portion of the press release from SPIN:

Spin…announced it is officially launching in the City of Miami Springs.  Spin’s solar-powered, GPS-enabled, selflocking smart bikes will be distributed across the city to provide an innovative, equitable mode of transportation for the its residents. Unlike traditional bikeshare systems, Spin’s dockless bikes require no fixed racks, can be parked anywhere, and won’t cost the city a penny.

“Miami Springs offers the perfect setting for Spin, and we are excited to bring our convenient, affordable, and eco-friendly services to its residents,” said Spin co-founder and CEO Derrick Ko. “Our goal is to continue expanding our presence across Miami-Dade County and we hope that our launch here will serve as a catalyst for our regional expansion.” Spin is uniquely suited to complement Miami Springs’s carsharing, and ridesharing systems by providing the public an affordable car-free mobility option to commute, explore, and get around the city. Its free-floating system also means the public will have more options to take advantage of the city’s growing bike network. Spin will scale up its ground operations to ensure high service levels and a quality ride experience.

Message from the City Manager: The Bike Share program will be an excellent way for residents and visitors to take advantage of the bike paths throughout the City! This program will provide users with access to key areas of our city (Downtown, golf course, aquatic center, community center, library, parks, bus and shuttle stops, and much more). This program is an integral part of the City’s plan to provide connectivity within our city, through public transportation. We hope you take advantage of it! – William Alonso

Dockless bikes have not been without some controversy.  The City of Miami Beach (which has a contract with CitiBikes) has been cracking down on the dockless bikes from Lime Bikes (which operates in nearby Key Biscayne.)  

An article published in the Miami New Times last July stated:

“LimeBike’s cycles just sit in the middle of sidewalks, parks, and city streets when they’re not in use. Their presence makes it difficult to walk through town, especially during crowded events. And it’s against the city’s laws to block sidewalks with parked bikes. According to city documents, this counts as a “right-of-way” violation and will earn you a $1,000 fine. (Miami Beach City Manager) Morales’ letter also accuses LimeBike of operating without proper business tax receipts. Violating those rules also brings a $1,000 code-enforcement fine.” 

In some cases, riders have not always been responsible with reports of bikes left in the middle of sidewalks, private property, inside national parks, and even dumped in waterways.   Obviously, we believe Miami Springs riders will be more responsible than some of these bad examples.  Best of all, the program has no direct cost to the City of Miami Springs.

What do you think about the new bike sharing program in Miami Springs? 

 

About Nestor Suarez

Nestor Suarez has been a resident of Miami Springs since the 1980s. He grew up in the Springs attending Miami Springs Middle and Miami Springs High before heading to the University of Miami. He founded the Miami Springs community website, MiamiSprings.com, in 1997 and continues to operate it to this day. Nestor Suarez is also a South Florida businessman with over 20 years experience in E-Commerce and Internet Marketing. Suarez helped to build TigerDirect.com in the late 90s and 2000s to become one of the Top 25 Internet Retailers in the country. In 2011, Suarez joined BrandsMart USA as the Vice President of E-Commerce and helped the legendary South Florida retailer modernize its E-Commerce operations while tripling its online revenues. In 2016, Suarez created Marketing Addicts, LLC in a partnership with a group of TigerDirect Alumni servicing the health care industry. Contact Mr. Suarez at Nestor.Suarez@gmail.com.