- Since its inaugural launch at University of North Carolina Greensboro in June, dockless bike-share company LimeBike has serviced more than 1 million rides with a 60% national retention rate, and has entered more than 30 markets including Seattle, Dallas, Washington, DC and South Bend, IN, according to its year-end report.
- LimeBike reports that its service costs $5 to $7 less than ride-sharing; has increased access to public transit; has saved 17,100 gallons of gas (enough to fill 700 full-size SUVs); and has cut 330,000 lbs of CO2.
- LimeBike aims to expand the "urban transportation revolution" by encouraging followers to "vote" for the next market to enter. Cities that reach 500 votes on their website will be considered.
Dockless bike-share hit the industry hot this year, as a number of dockless services infiltrated cities. In many markets, LimeBike and its competitors — Ofo, Spin, Mobike and electric bike service Jump — were adopted all at once, creating a battleground of competition for traditional, docked bike services. In Washington, DC, that competition was welcomed by CapitalBikeshare officials who believed the dockless services could increase overall acceptance and use of bike-share. However, that theory has not yet been proven conclusively.
And not all markets have had a favorable opinion of the dockless trend. The core feature of these bikes is a locking rear wheel that allows the bikes to be "parked" anywhere; however the reality of bikes being randomly abandoned in the middle of sidewalks or scattered around parks have left some city officials frustrated. In Seattle, bikes have even been thrown into lakes. That city is now considering painting parking corrals on sidewalks for the dockless bikes.
Despite concerns, it is likely that the dockless bike trend will continue to grow in both cities and on university campuses due to convenience and low cost — which should motivate ride-share services such as Uber and Lyft to stay creative and vigilant in the wake of growing bike-share opportunities. Some companies like Gotcha Group have tried to get ahead of the competition by building their own mobility services — Gotcha offers both ride- and bike-share to targeted collegiate partners — and it's likely similar companies will enter the market as the sharing service industry grows.