Dockless Bikeshare Coming to Silver Spring
Riders can find and unlock bikes using smartphone app
Mobike, a dockless bikeshare company, is piloting a new program in Silver Spring to bring its bikes to the area later this month.
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Residents and visitors to downtown Silver Spring will soon see more orange bikes that appear unlocked around town.
Mobike, the dockless bikeshare company, is piloting a new program in Silver Spring to bring its bikes to the area later this month. People who want to ride the bikes can sign up through a smartphone app, which will indicate the closest bike and provide a QR code to unlock it.
Similar bikeshare systems are in use around the world. Four companies, including Mobike, launched in Washington, D.C., last month.
Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett announced Mobike’s entrance into the community at a press event Tuesday afternoon in Silver Spring. He said the county would be the first suburban jurisdiction in the U.S. to adopt a dockless bikeshare system.
At the event, Leggett also cut the ribbon for downtown Silver Spring’s new protected bike lane that stretches about eight-tenths of a mile along Spring and Cedar streets. It eventually will be part of a larger network downtown.
“This protected bike lane and enhanced access to shared bikes can help reduce traffic collisions, improve our traffic flow and protect our environment,” Leggett said in a statement.
Riders pay to use Mobike electronically; the service charges $1 for a 30-minute ride. Riders later park the bike in an approved area to lock it.
The service is designed to cut out the process of trying to find a bikeshare dock, which traditional bike services such as Capital BikeShare, have scattered throughout the region, including dozens in Montgomery County.
The bikes feature non-puncture airless tires and GPS locators, according to the county. The company is expected to bring a few hundred bikes to Silver Spring, according to county spokeswoman Lorraine Driscoll.
Mobike launched in April 2016 in China and has grown to include seven million smartbikes in about 180 cities around the world.