E-bike pilot revs up for summer

Lime is among the companies participating in a Department of Transportation pilot program for dockless e-bikes.
Lime is among the companies participating in a Department of Transportation pilot program for dockless e-bikes.
Shutterstock
Lime is among the companies participating in a Department of Transportation pilot program for dockless e-bikes.

E-bike pilot revs up for summer

Lime began adding new pedal-assist dockless bikes to its current fleet in the Rockaways over Memorial Day Weekend.
May 28, 2019

The New York City Department of Transportation’s dockless bike share pilot is celebrating the upcoming one-year anniversary of its deployment of hundreds of dockless bikes in the outer borough by expanding pilot program. Lime – the bike and scooter company that has deployed hundreds of its traditional and pedal-assist dockless bikes in Staten Island and the Rockaways – began adding 200 new pedal-assist dockless bikes to its current fleet in the Rockaways over Memorial Day Weekend, reports Gothamist.

Aside from Citi Bike’s incorporation of a pedal-assist fleet, the DOT’s dockless bike share pilot marks the most significant step the city has taken to embracing e-bikes. While not all bikes included in the pilot are pedal-assist models, many of them are, and testing the concept of dockless micromobility could presumably help city officials judge the viability of e-scooters, too. But as Gothamist reports, the dockless bike program has not been without its hurdles, with users experiencing app glitches and confusion over where to drop bikes after riding.  

A bill to legalize e-bikes and e-scooters was introduced in the state Legislature last month, but with less than a month left of session, it’s still in committee. As lawmakers at the city and state level debate how to welcome – or shut out – the ever-popular vehicles, companies like Lime are hoping the dockless pilot is a step in the right direction. “We would love to get these solutions to people right now,” Phil Jones, Lime’s East Coast senior director of government relations, told City & State in March. “But we also understand that with this new technology and the way people are using it, you want to have a very good wealth of information to make sure that it's done properly.”

For the rest of today's tech news, head over to First Read Tech.

Annie McDonough
Annie McDonough
is a tech and policy reporter at City & State.
20210616