Some people love them, some people hate them – but 4,680 rides on LimeBikes since June have been taken in Winthrop since they landed in town during.
The company is based in San Mateo, Calif. and dropped 150 bikes around town. Each night the company scans the town and repositions bicycles to where they are most needed. With everything new there does come some complaining – “three bikes are in front of my house,” “someone left the bike in my front walkway,” and “nobody is wearing a helmet” are cries that went out on social media.
Assistant Town Manager Joe Domelowicz they are looking for cooperation from the public. First, from the riders who have to be aware of their impact (see the accompanying graphics).
“People have to park the bikes properly,” Domelowicz. said
Make sure you don’t leave the bike where someone with impaired mobility might not be able to get by. If there is a bike in the way move it to the side. Do not park the bike on private property or in front of someone’s driveway.
“Since June, there has been 1,583 unique riders,” Domelowicz said. “If you use the service, we hope you use it responsibly because if we continue to get a high level of complaints that might make us reconsider how we use this activity will go on.
He added that the added trip distance is typically a half mile and the bikes tend to be used for about 12 minutes.
“LimeBike is excited about the ridership during this trial period, which runs through December,” Domelowicz said, adding that the program will be revisited for use next year.
There are 30 hot spots around the town for the bikes. Each bike has a bell, and it’s advised riders should use it when they are coming up on someone.
He said communities like Chelsea, Revere and East Boston have their own programs with Blue Bike. Last year, a group called ofo ran a pilot program and did not return. At the current time, the bike companies are not being assessed a fee to operate which could be $100-$150.
Anyone under the age of 16 using a LimeBike must wear a helmet, just like anyone under 16 riding a bicycle. Adults don’t have to wear a helmet but it is advisable.