Bikes Get the Heave-Ho

September 27, 2018
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After a four-month trial period, the Lynn City Council voted unanimously to get rid of dockless bicycles from two vendors by November because the council is tired of bicycles scattered around the city.

Ant Bicycle and LimeBike were ordered to remove their bikes at Tuesday night’s meeting. The council might revisit the idea of dockless bike sharing in March after the snow melts. Councilors clearly were concerned about bikes in snow banks and the impact on snow plowing.

“I was disappointed in the whole thing. The bikes are everywhere,” said Ward 7 Councilor Jay Walsh. “If you don’t have the staff I’m not comfortable moving forward.”

Bikes have been left in the middle of sidewalks and in the streets. Walsh said he’d only keep the bikes if a staff member were available to remove the bikes when left behind. The city doesn’t have the resources to be collecting bikes. If any bikes are left after Nov. 1 the city will pick them up but face incurring overtime costs which would be billed to the bike companies.

Councilor-at-Large Brian Field said he has received numerous complaints, in some instances about bikes on the sidewalk for weeks. The companies are supposed to pick up the bikes after two days, but that hasn’t happened.

Ant Bicycle co-founder John Gallagher said there were 10,000 rides in Lynn during the trial period, with 300 bikes in use at the peak. There are between 100-150 dockless bikes in Lynn right now. Gallagher said the most activity for the bikes centered around Lynn Shore Drive and the MBTA station. He noted there has been vandalism and theft of the bicycles which impact ridership.

No representative from LimeBike attended the meeting.

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