Park And Pedal; Miami Beach Unlocks Bicycle Sharing Program

MIAMI BEACH – (CBS4) – Trying to find a parking spot on Miami Beach during a busy weekend night – even on some weekdays can be daunting.

It can be so bad, some drivers opt to turn around and drop their dining and dancing plans altogether.

But now, to ease congestion city officials hope residents and visitors will pedal their way through the city thanks to a new bike-sharing program.

The program is not without its critics.

Some say that at $4 for 30 minutes, $5 for an hour, or $10 for two hours, and a yearly membership of $180, it may be cheaper to buy a bicycle.

But Colby Reese from Deco Bike said owning a bike costs money.

“If you have a nice bike, you have to pay $100 a year maintaining it,” Reese said.

Rental stations were recently installed and will be managed by DecoBike, which was awarded the five-year contract in 2009.

Others say the bicycle stations took out two or three prime parking spaces, but Miami Beach’s parking director has a solution.

“We encourage folks that when you do find a parking space just keep your car there, hop on a bike, run your errands or do whatever you came to Miami Beach to do,” said Saul Frances.

And since there’s no security to keep track of who’s taking the bikes or returning them, what about theft or vandalism?

“Each bike is individually identifiable. They’re micro chipped and have a device in them. So it knows that John Smith took the bike 12:53 p.m. and whether or not he brought it back,” said Reese.

So it seems all the issues are covered. Now time will tell whether Miami’s gas guzzlers will want to get through the busy beach streets on a more eco-friendly set of wheels.

By the end of the summer Miami Beach hopes to have more than 115 bike stations set up throughout the city so finding a station in order to rent a bike will be as easy as riding one.

The company will share revenue with the city. DecoBike will also have an iPhone and Blackberry app that will help users find stations and how many bicycles are available at different stations.

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  • Get your sh#t together

    How about getting rid of the valet that take over the streets after 8pm and drop the parking lots to $1 an hour at all lots. Miami Beach has pushed every one away. I have live there since 1985. Now I am leaving to Brickell. Not the old SOBE I remember….

  • mimi

    its a cool idea!!

  • Lisa spence

    I believe you mean “pedal”, not peddle. Peddle means to sell.

  • Cheri Pugh

    ‘First of it’s kind” they have this out in Portland OR and Seattle WA states oh wait an Island in MI is NO cars has bikes for everyone to use. Plus I’m sure someone wants to go this route in their dining/dancing clothes and shoes or did the fine establishments in Miami change the dress codes?

  • fqmiami

    The City removed more than 250 public street parking spaces in order to provide DecoBike (a private for-profit) with space for their bike stations. Plus with rental rates of $4 for 15 minutes, it would be better to walk or take the beach circulator in almost all circumstances. So the word “peddle” may be a Freudian slip, coz DecoBike surely “peddled” a bill of goods to the City.

  • Robert Rogers

    Not sure this is the best idea… Something tells me they did not set up focus groups on this one.

  • Bob O Link

    Hey…it’s SOBE…who focuses in SOBE? hehehe…still sounds like a good plan. I’l give it a shot and let you know.

  • carmen

    $4 for 30 minutes are you nuts. So, if i’m with my companion and we will arrive at our destination very sweaty and $8 light. Doesn’t make sense. I will continue to cab it and take my car!

  • carmen

    Also, how often will these bikes be cleaned? I can only imagine the filth that will cover these bikes. I guarantee that this will not work. DecoBike says the yearly maintenance for a bike is $100…lol, stop lying. Oil for the chain costs about $5.

  • sergio

    Watch out the scammy website.
    It’s been built to HIDE user agreement, terms and conditions, etc.

    1) I called and I was told the ONLY way to rent was WAITING for the membership card.

    2) After you pass the “payment information” page, YOU’VE BEEN ALREADY DEBITED 3 MONTHS (as per agreement says, of course)

    3) The hidden agreement (found on google’s backup since it had visible links at some point) says you can take the bike for 30min, 60 or 120 min. The site won’t show more than 30min option.

    4) There’s a $35 for returning a membership that doesn’t involve shipping, installation, hardware, nothing.

    5) There’s a $3 per each 30min you keep the bike. If you go to Publix and the station if full, you have to KEEP IT (and pay for it) or walk up and down and back up to the next Dock – Publix – Dock

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