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Three new dockless bike-share programs expand to D.C.

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Their names are Spin, Mobike, and LimeBike

LimeBike.
Photo courtesy of LimeBike.

Since it launched in 2010, Capital Bikeshare has expanded from 400 bikes to over 3,700 bikes in December 2016, an 825 percent growth. Now, three new bike-sharing competitors have entered the ring in Washington, D.C., called Spin, Mobike, and LimeBike.

Each of these companies are similar in that they offer stationless bikes, meaning you don’t need to find a specific company dock to drop them off. They each pride themselves on being “smarter” as well as affordable and easy to use.

Below, check out what you should know about each of these companies.


Spin

Spin was first made available the San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle and has now made its way to the East Coast at the nation’s capital.

If interested in bike rides that only cost $1 per half hour, Spin should be your next considered bike-sharing option. If interested in unlimited 30-minute rides, there is a membership plan that costs $29 per month. For rides that last longer than 30 minutes, riders will get charged an extra $1 per half hour.

In order to use the bikes, Spin indicates that riders will need to download their app in order to scan the bike’s QR code that will then unlock the bike. When it comes to where to park the bike once done with the trip, Spin simply recommends, “Park a Spin anywhere responsible, as if it were your own bike.”


Mobike

Based in China, Mobike has expanded to Washington, D.C., as its first pilot city in the U.S. DCist reported that the bike-sharing company plans on expanding to 180 cities across the globe in less than 18 months.

The price for this service is $1 per ever half hour. In order to make sure that no bikes are lost or stolen, each bike is tracked by GPS. Similarly to the other dockless bike-sharing companies expanding to the city, Mobike allows users to unlock each bike by scanning a QR code by using the Mobike app.

In a statement, Mobike President and Co-founder Hu Weiwei said, “We look forward to working with more cities across the nation to make cycling the most convenient, affordable, and environmentally friendly transportation option for residents and tourists alike.”


LimeBike

This company, which claims to be the fastest growing dockless US-based bikeshare company, differentiates itself from the pack by partnering with colleges and local businesses in order to provide subsidy-free services.

It was founded in January 2017 and is headquartered in San Mateo, California. Since its launch, it has expanded to Florida, North Carolina, San Diego, Dallas, and San Francisco.

Each ride costs just $1, or 50 cents for students, per 30-minute time block. There is no time restriction. At the moment, riders cannot unlock more than one bike at the same time from one account. Also, the program allows cash payments.

When it comes to how to use the bikes, each one is GPS- and 3G-enabled, allowing riders to find a nearby bike using the iOS or Android LimeBike app. Once finished, manually lock the back wheel and simply park the bike between the sidewalk and the street curb or at a bike rack. The LimeBike website recommends not parking any bike on the grass or anywhere in the way.

In a statement, LimeBike CEO & Co-founder Toby Sun said, “As a U.S. based company, LimeBike is proud to bring another sustainable, affordable transportation option to our nation's capital. We look forward to seeing all the ways we can continue to work together with the DDOT to improve urban mobility and transportation for all of D.C.”

Until the end of the month, new riders can use the code, “HELLODC,” in order to do a free trial run of LimeBike.