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Bike Share System Launches in Hoboken This Summer

City partners with Jersey City and Weehawken for program that will feature 800 smart-bikes, 50 bike stations and two full-service pavilions.

Contributed photo
Contributed photo
The following was submitted by the City of Hoboken:

The cities of Hoboken, Jersey City and Weehawken are partnering to launch a regional bike share system this summer that will be the largest next-generation bike share system in North America. The system will feature 800 smart-bikes, 50 bike stations, and two full-service pavilions at no cost to the cities.

“Bike sharing is an affordable, sustainable, and convenient transportation option,” Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer said. “We are excited to partner with leading innovators to bring this next-generation system to our residents, businesses and visitors at no cost to taxpayers. I am proud to build upon our successful pilot bike share program and work with our neighbors in Jersey City and Weehawken to create a regional system.”

The program will be operated by Bike and Roll, the largest bike rental company in the United States, and will use bicycle technology manufactured by Nextbike, a leading operator and supplier of bike sharing systems with more than 17,000 bicycles in 60 cities in 14 countries. E3Think is the economic, strategy and planning partner for the consortium, and investment capital will be provided by P3 Global Management, a smart city investment firm.

“Bike and Roll is excited to have been selected to operate this cutting edge bicycle sharing system for Hoboken, Jersey City and Weehawken,” said Chris Wogas, president of Bike and Roll. “Together with our partners, we are bringing a technologically advanced network of bikes to these cities with zero cost to taxpayers. This is truly a value added program for the cities, its residents and visitors.”

The system will feature “smart bikes,” the next generation of bike share technology. Traditional bike sharing systems rely on a “smart dock” approach for storing bicycles, which requires expensive infrastructure for docking stations. The “smart lock” approach relies on bicycles with built-in locks and communications equipment, providing increased flexibility at a fraction of the cost of traditional systems.

“The time is right to introduce an economic and flexible bike sharing program made in Germany to the USA,” said Ralf Kalupner, founder and managing director of nextbike GmbH. “Bike sharing needs to be economic and that’s what we have proven for the last 10 years.”

The Nextbike Cruiser Comfort bike features a seven-gear shift, puncture-resistant tires, integrated LED lights with stand-light function, hub dynamo, kickstand, basket, bell, mudguard, chain guard, hand and coaster brakes, and height-adjustable seat.

“Bike share is the core of new urban mobility for cities around the world,” said Tom Glendening, president of E3Think. “In contrast to the expensive technology in some markets, Nextbike’s low cost, flexible smart-bike technology offers a very, very positive future. This bike share program could very well be a model for cities across the globe.”

Revenue sources for the program will include sponsorships, advertising and user fees, and the cities will receive a percentage of profits after capital expenditures have been recouped.

“We see bike share programs as a cornerstone of economically and socially healthy cities,” said Jim Campbell, CEO of P3GM. “We are thrilled to have been selected by Jersey City, Hoboken and Weehawken to bring this enormous benefit to their citizens, tourists and students alike.”

Pricing options will include annual, weekly and daily memberships. Annual memberships will include free use for the first 45 minutes of each ride. Customers will be able to register online or at solar-powered kiosks. Members will be able to rent a bicycle via a customer card, mobile application (iOS and Android) or phone call via an interactive voice response system.

The two full-service pavilions, to be located in Hoboken and Jersey City, will include a bike share station, conventional bike rental, helmets and safety support, biking equipment and tourist information.

The contract award requires the approval of the councils of the three cities.

"We’re proud to take this step toward a greener, more bike friendly Jersey City. Providing a new transportation option throughout the city while simultaneously reducing pollution, traffic congestion and demand for parking is a home run, especially given that that it won’t cost the taxpayers a cent," Jersey City Mayor Steven M. Fulop said. "We believe this system will be a model for others throughout the nation.”

“We are very excited to participate in the bike share program with Hoboken and Jersey City,” said Weehawken Councilwoman Rosemary Lavagnino. “This program will allow residents to leave their cars at home while still giving them access to Weehawken and their neighboring communities.”
kevin February 24, 2014 at 06:48 AM
I think this is a bad idea. We have too many pedestrians and cars and too many narrow streets. This is going to be a problem causing accidents with cars, pedestrians and bikes, as well as make traffic worse. Whatever happened to my quiet little Hoboken with a fish market and other local mom pop owned stores? Dawn Zimmer has sold us to the DEVELOPERS! SO SAD! I miss MY HOBOKEN!
Eric February 24, 2014 at 09:33 AM
Kevin. You must not have been to Hoboken in more than 20 years. That Hoboken is long gone. If you want to blame someone for selling out your little town. Blame your friends family and neighbors who sold their properties to other people to enrich themselves.
Pops February 24, 2014 at 11:06 AM
@Kevin, your comment is rather odd. On one hand, "quiet little Hoboken with a fish market" disappeared many years before Mayor Zimmer was elected. The population went from 35k to 50k in the past decade and four supermarkets with fish counters opened, two things the mayor also had nothing to do with. If you want to blame someone, perhaps direct your anger and disappointment to Frank Raia, who built the ShopRite that helped put small fish markets out of business. On the other hand, there are plenty of small mom-and-pop stores still here, and many more that have opened in the years during the Zimmer administration. I can't tell if you are woefully misinformed, or perhaps just trolling. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.
Rapheal February 24, 2014 at 11:41 AM
Truglio's has the best meat in town. 10th and Park. Cash and check only, and worth every penny. Shop Rite's fish department is fantastic. Much better than A&P. I am sick of bikes. While walking, I almost got run over by one today while crossing over Bloomfield. The jerk was riding in the wrong direction and I didn't see him. He did not have a bell, and the only reason I didn't get hit was because someone yelled "lookout" and I saw him.
Pops February 24, 2014 at 12:18 PM
Rapheal, I agree with you on Truglio's and ShopRite. However, is encountering one jerk on a bike sufficient reason to condemn an entire three-city regional bike share program?
Rapheal February 24, 2014 at 01:37 PM
Pops, probably not. I was just really mad this morning. I could have been seriously injured. And he's not the first jerk I've seen not obeying traffic laws. Perhaps the answer is more enforcement of the laws.
Pops February 24, 2014 at 04:24 PM
I think you are right, Rapheal. Thanks for clarifying, I don't blame you for being mad!

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