New York’s Citi Bike program is launching in May, but already it won’t be the only bike share system on the Hudson River. The city council of Hoboken, New Jersey, Manhattan’s neighbor across the river, unanimously approved yesterday the launch of a six-month joint bike share/bike rental pilot program operated by Bike & Roll with bikes supplied by Social Bicycles (SoBi), and consulting services provided by E3Think.
Bike share and bike rental programs have coexisted around the same locales since time immemorial (that is, since maybe the 90′s), but this dual program will be the first time that the two are being planned and developed together as complementary components of a single program. The bike rental system will be designed for long term use while the bike share system will be for shorter trips.
The launch date hasn’t been announced yet. But hold your handles if you’re betting on the standard battery of permitting delays. SoBi’s “smart lock” share bikes are designed to work without docking stations, which means a shorter development and permitting period–in theory.
Hoboken is not expected to fund start-up nor operating costs for the program. And profits are expected to be split among Hoboken and its partners.
No word yet about whether Hobokenites can get on a SoBi bike for their morning commutes through the Lincoln Tunnel and link to New York’s Citi Bike system. That’s unlikely. But we’ll give Hoboken a pass since Hoboken is just a fun word to say. Hoboken.