DecoBike in downtown Miami nears
The DecoBike launch to Miami is slated for October. The expansion of the bike sharing program, which launched in March 2011 on Miami Beach, was set for this summer, but an increase in planned stations pushed the Miami date back.
DecoBike LLC is a privately funded company and operates at no cost to Miami taxpayers. The downtown expansion is expected to cost about $3.5 million in private capital costs.
“Stations are in the permitting phase,” said Colby Reese, a representative of DecoBike in an email to Miami Today. “We hope to have the program open to the public towards the end of October.”
The downtown expansion was slated for earlier this year, but more and upgraded station locations extended the company’s timeline.
“More station locations were identified during this time to achieve a higher-density and more connected station network to further improve mobility in the area,” Mr. Reese said. “Also, we decided to upgrade the proposed stations and bikes for the Miami expansion.”
These additional developments, while pushing back the DecoBike Miami launch, should improve the user experience, Mr. Reese said. At this point, he said, most everything is in order for DecoBike’s downtown launch in October, following the on-time delivery of the program equipment.
Initially, the expansion of DecoBike consisted of 50 stations locations. After study and review, that number was bumped up to 75 potential locations. These stations will be on government property and in high-density residential, commercial and retail locations, Mr. Reese said. Stations will also be near transit hubs, parking facilities and area attractions.
There are currently around 100 stations in the Miami Beach area with a fleet of 1,000 bikes. With the downtown expansion, that number is to rise up to 175.
While DecoBike riders on Miami Beach tend to stay on the Beach (unless a dedicated biker rides over and back a bridge across Biscayne Bay), the stations in Miami will be located throughout various neighborhoods to allow riders to move between many areas.
“Stations will be primarily located in Downtown Miami, Brickell, Wynwood, Design District, the Biscayne corridor, Midtown, Little Havana and Coconut Grove,” Mr. Reese said.
The stations in Miami will function similarly to the stations on Miami Beach, where riders can buy a onetime pass, a monthly pass, an annually pass or a deluxe pass. A rider who pays at a station can unlock a bike from the DecoBike dock and ride around. Bikes can be returned to any DecoBike station, not just the one where a bike is rented.
DecoBike says it has discussed potential expansions into other municipalities in Miami-Dade County like Sunny Isles, Coral Gables and South Miami, although no plans have been set yet.