Legislative Public Meetings

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File #: 20-0151   
Type: Information Only Status: Information Only
Meeting Body: City Council
On agenda: 1/7/2020
Title: Dockless Bike Share Pilot Program Update (Information Only)
Attachments: 1. RTC 17-1032 2018 Council Study Issue DPW 18-08




Dockless Bike Share Pilot Program Update (Information Only)




On February 16, 2018, City Council ranked the 2018 Study Issue DPW 18-08 Develop a Dockless Bicycle Share Pilot Program at the 2018 Study Issues Workshop and directed staff to move forward with this study issue. Staff worked with the City Attorney’s Office to prepare the Request for Proposal (RFP) and the Licensing Agreement for launching the Dockless Bike Share Program.


In June 2018, a RFP was issued to solicit proposals from bike share operators to provide a pilot program for a dockless, free-floating bike share system citywide at no cost to the City. Neutron Holdings, Inc., a company headquartered in Delaware (also known as Lime), was the only vendor who has responded with a proposal. They were invited to an in-person interview with City staff in July 2018, where they presented their program’s launch and operation plan. The pilot program would only include dockless bike share (electric-assisted bikes, aka e-bikes); scooters would not be part of the pilot program. Since this was a dockless bike share system, no permanent infrastructure would be required to be installed on the City’s right-of-way.


In October 2018, the city entered a licensing agreement with Lime to operate a dockless bike share pilot program within the city. The program was officially launched on December 17, 2018 with 300 e-bikes, with a goal of eventually growing to 1,000 e-bikes within the city. Lime bikes were located throughout the city, including popular locations such as the Civic Center, Sunnyvale Public Library, Community Center, City parks, and Sunnyvale downtown. Users were required to download the Lime mobile app to locate and rent bikes at a cost; the rental fees were $1 to unlock the bike, and 15 cents for every minute of use thereafter.


In February 2019, due to a change in their business model and focus, Lime discontinued their bike share business nationwide to focus on their scooter share business. Lime officially removed their bicycles and stopped service in Sunnyvale in March 2019.



General Plan, Chapter 3, Land Use and Transportation Element:


                     Goal B: Environmentally Sustainable Land Use and Transportation Planning and Development - Support the sustainable vision by incorporating sustainable features into land use and transportation decisions and practices.


                     Goal C: An Effective Multimodal Transportation System - Offer the community a variety of transportation modes for local travel that are also integrated with the regional transportation system and land use pattern. Favor accommodation of alternative modes to the automobile as a means to enhance efficient transit use, bicycling, and walking and corresponding benefits to the environment, person-throughput, and qualitative improvements to the transportation system environment.



The dockless bike share pilot program was intended to be 12-months duration.  At the end of the 12-month period, Staff was to identify possible concerns, evaluate the operations of the program, and determine long-term viability of the program. The results of the pilot program would lead either to a recommendation to incorporate a permanent dockless bike share program, recommend further study, or recommend dropping the program.


Lime operated in Sunnyvale for only two months, of which a portion of that period was over the winter holidays and during the rainy season. Therefore, the City did not receive enough data to evaluate the effectiveness of the pilot program. In addition, Staff has not been approached by another bike share provider who is interested in operating in Sunnyvale. Therefore, the dockless bike share pilot program has been discontinued until another bike share provider expresses interest in the program.  Without a service provider there is no data to evaluate the long-term viability of the program and it is not possible to identify concerns and to make a recommendation on the next steps to implement a permanent bike-share program.


In October 2019, the Mountain View City Council voted unanimously to support the initiation of an 18-month scooter share pilot program with recommended guidelines such as minimum age requirement, possession of a valid driver license, and designated parking areas, etc.  The City of Mountain View will begin to accept scooter share permit applications in 2020, and the city plans to enter an agreement with a maximum of two operators to bring as many as 800 electric scooters (e-scooters) to the city. Once Mountain View has chosen its scooter share operators, City staff will work with the same vendors to evaluate contract terms and consider the launch a scooter share pilot program within Sunnyvale.



Public contact was made by posting the Council agenda on the City's official-notice bulletin board outside City Hall, at the Sunnyvale Senior Center, Community Center and Department of Public Safety; and by making the agenda and report available at the Sunnyvale Public Library, the Office of the City Clerk and on the City's website.



Prepared by: Lillian Tsang, Principal Transportation Engineer

Reviewed by: Dennis Ng, Transportation and Traffic Manager

Reviewed by: Chip Taylor, Director, Public Works

Reviewed by: Teri Silva, Assistant City Manager

Approved by: Kent Steffens, City Manager



1.                     RTC 17-1032 2018 Council Study Issue DPW 18-08