Bikesharing is making its way to the North County, and coastal cities are making sure they get ahead of the game with their regulatory policies.
The City of Encinitas held a public meeting Monday night to discuss its plans for a bike-share pilot program that will help it and other coastal cities write their bike-share rulebook.
Encinitas has partnered with Del Mar, Solana Beach, Oceanside and Carlsbad, as well as the North County Transit District, Camp Pendleton and the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG).
Their plan is to bring one vendor into Encinitas, the pilot city, for a year. Right now, they’re early on in the process and are still seeking proposals from different vendors.
At the meeting, city representatives said they’re keeping an open mind to all of the options, not knowing if they’ll have docking stations, dockless bikes, electric bikes or hybrid bikes.
One thing they’re certain about, they want to make sure they are doing something different than Downtown San Diego.
"There’s not really regulation. There’s no limit on the number of bikes," Crystal Nejara, the city's Climate Action Plan program administrator said. "We’re definitely planning to be much more regulated."
In February, several dockless transportation businesses launched in the downtown area. Lime Bike, Ofo, Bird, Mobike, and DecoBike are among the companies that began offering the service.
Customers download an app and find a bike using a GPS then can ride it anywhere, dropping it off at any location. There are no pre-determined drop off locations.
After a few weeks, residents began to complain about bikes and scooters being left in the middle of sidewalks or driveways.
In Coronado, city officials declared the dockless bikes and scooters a public nuisance.
Monday night’s crowd brought up some legit concerns.
“I know the bike stores down in PB, and where these things have already deployed, their sales have hit rock bottom," a North County bike shop owner said.
Others wondered what the pilot will cost the city.
“We issued this with no money involved and so we’d like a vendor to come in with no subsidy," one city representative said.
The city says the proposals need to be in by May 3, and in a few months the vendor they decide on will drop off their bikes.