From the Mayor’s office:
HOBOKEN/WEEHAWKEN ANNOUNCE SPRING 2015 LAUNCH OF BIKE SHARE PROGRAM
The City of Hoboken and Township of Weehawken are partnering to launch a next-generation bike share program using smart-bike technology manufactured by Nextbike. The German-based company currently has systems with over 20,000 bikes in 70 cities across 14 countries. The Hoboken/Weehawken system would be their first in the United States. Because the technology is new to the country, the electronic components manufactured by Nextbike are still awaiting approval by the FCC, which is expected by late December. As a result, the launch of the program has been rescheduled for March, 2015.
“We are looking forward to launching one of the first next-generation bike share systems in the country,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “This high-tech but considerably lower cost approach is more scalable and flexible than traditional systems and could open the door for an expansion of bike sharing into neighborhoods and communities across the region and country – not just our largest cities.”
“Weehawken is proud to be a part of this innovative program that will provide a healthy and green transportation option for our residents,” said Weehawken Mayor Richard F. Turner.
Financing for the system is being provided by Nextbike, and revenue will be generated through sponsorships, advertising, and membership fees at no cost to taxpayers. The program will be operated by Bike and Roll, the largest bike tour and rental company in the United States.
“Bike and Roll is very excited to be working with Hoboken and Weehawken and to be a part of bringing next-generation bike share to the tri-state area,” said Chris Wogas, President of Bike and Roll. “I applaud the efforts of both Hoboken and Weehawken as they ensure that their residents receive the most flexible, technologically-advanced and customer-centric bike share platform available today.”
The first phase of the system will have a total of 300 “smart bikes” — 230 bikes in Hoboken and 70 bikes in Weehawken. Smart bikes are 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. This system will feature several “smart dock” stations along with a majority of “virtual dock” stations using traditional bicycle racks.