Ithaca’s new bike share program has launched, meaning that there are now over 200 bikes available to the public for rent. Bike Walk Tompkins and the City of Ithaca worked with LimeBike, a for-profit tech mobility company, to bring the dockless bike system to town. The bikes are typically $1 per ride.
But how does this work? What are the rules of dockless bikes?
Everything You Want to Know About Ithaca's Bike Share But Were Too Afraid to Ask
1. How do you use it?
A) Download the LimeBike app in the App Store (for your iphone), or on Google Play (for an Android phone.)
B) Register with your cellphone number or through your Facebook account.
C) Hit “Unlock” and scan the QR code in the back of the bike you want
D) Manually lock the bike at the end of your trip
(Source: LimeBike Cheat Sheet)
2. How much does it cost?
The first ride is free, and after that it only costs $1.00 per 30-minute ride. Rides are only $0.50 for students and people with .edu e-mail addresses. People without smart phones, bank cards and/or from low-income households can participate in a program called Lime Access, which allows them to purchase 100 rides for $5. Sign up at the Bike Walk Tompkins/Ithaca Carshare office, and learn more here.
3. How do I park it?
You can park it anywhere in the City of Ithaca, as long as it is next to or parked at a public bike rack, or in the spaces between trees on the sidewalk. You can also park it on university campuses, as long as it is next to or parked at a public bike rack! Check out a great video about LimeBike parking here.
4. Are there memberships as well?
Yes. There are several options for memberships. A monthly pass, worth 100 rides, is $29.95 for regular users, $14.95 for .edu users, and $5 for Lime Access users.
5. Do you have to wear a helmet?
Although helmets are recommended, there is no legal requirement to wear a helmet in Tompkins County or in the City of Ithaca.
6. How old do you have to be to use the bikes?
Bikes can only be ridden by people age 14 and up with parental approval, and 18 and up without it.
7. How far can you ride a lime bike?
The bikes are mostly intended for use within the City of Ithaca, but can be ridden further out if that is where the rider needs to go.
8. Can I put a bike on the bus?
Nope! However, there are over 200 bikes throughout the City of Ithaca, and so if you need to get up a hill, take the TCAT and there will likely be a bike near you at the top of the hill!
9. Can one account take out several bikes at once with the same account?
Nope! This is not a feature that LimeBike currently offers.
10. Do you need a credit card and a smartphone to use a LimeBike?
While it is easiest to use if you do. If you don't, you can participate in the LimeAccess program. LimeAccess users can pay in cash at the Bike Walk Tompkins/Ithaca Carshare office, or at a PayNearMe location, and use a regular cellphone instead of a smartphone.
Got more questions? Read more on the new system at Bike Walk Tompkins.
Article by Maggie McAden, with help from Hector Chang and others