Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023 |
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HONOLULU — Another bicycle sharing program is giving it a go in Honolulu.
Sharee allows riders to lock and unlock bikes via a smartphone app. They can be parked and locked at any public bike rack instead of docked at stations.
Bikeshare Hawaii’s Biki has about 1,000 bicycles at 100 stations. When it first launched in 2017, some residents complained the stations took up street parking spaces. The program is expanding.
While Sharee has 400 registered, licensed bikes ready to go, most are sitting in storage, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Monday. There are about two dozen bikes in circulation. Most are on Ward Avenue, a few are in Chinatown, two are in Haleiwa, one is in Kakaako and one is at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
To access the bikes, riders use an app, enter a phone number, pay with a credit card and then a code that unlocks the bike. Sharee is asking riders to park only in the locations indicted on the app or at public bike racks.
City Transportation Services Deputy Director Jon Nouchi said the city supports alternative forms of transportation. “However, all companies should be aware that city property, including bicycle racks, cannot be used for commercial transactions until and unless they first obtain authorization from the city,” he said.
The bikes can be parked at public city bike racks but renting one from the public rack would be considered a commercial transaction, according to the city.
A patrol team tracks, monitors and collects the bikes nightly, said Sharee CEO Alexander Wong.
Lime of San Francisco attempted this year to launch an un-docked, electric scooter sharing system by placing them on Honolulu sidewalks overnight. But city officials quickly booted them, saying scooters couldn’t be legally left on sidewalks.
Sharee asks riders to park only in the locations indicated on the app or at public bike racks.
Wong said he doesn’t want to undercut Honolulu’s first bike sharing system.
The cost of a 30-minute ride is $3.50, the same amount Biki charges.
“Bikeshare Hawaii and our Biki program welcomes all shared modes of transportation that help to make our community healthier, greener and safer for all, said Bikeshare Hawaii Executive Director Todd Boulanger.
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