Dockless Bikeshare is set to begin Thursday in Silver Spring, after the Montgomery County Department of Transportation signed agreements with Ofo and Limebike. Montgomery County is the first suburban jurisdiction in the country to have a Dockless Bikeshare system.
According to the press release sent by MCDOT, Limebike will position 240 bikes tonight and will be activated for service on Thursday, October 26. Ofo will place 100 bikes Thursday night that will be activated for service on Friday, October 27, and expanding to 1,000 bikes over the next 4 weeks.
Mobike was the first of the Dockless Bikeshare companies to sign an agreement with MCDOT, with service expected to begin soon. The agreement was announced in a ceremony earlier this month which also announced the Spring Street Protected Bike Lane.
Unlike the Capital Bikeshare system currently available, which requires fixed bike docking stations, Mobike users pick up, ride and then park a bike wherever it’s convenient for them.
Each bike is equipped with built-in GPS and smart-lock technology that allows the user to unlock it via a QR code. Riders download the Mobike app to register, locate a nearby bike via the app and GPS, unlock it, park it in a legal area at their destination, and lock it for the next user.
Montgomery County’s agreement with Dockless Bikeshare companies is part of a demonstration project to test the concept. Feedback about the program or about a specific company can be sent by email to [email protected], by contacting MC311 either online or by calling 311 from within Montgomery County or 240-777-0311 from outside the County, Monday through Friday from 7 am to 7pm. Or, follow MC311 on Twitter @311MC311.