REVERE — The city is giving bike sharing another try.
After last year’s pilot program with the Chinese company ofo had mixed results, Revere has joined 14 other communities in Greater Boston to adopt LimeBike and Spin.
The vendors were selected by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), a regional planning agency, and a group of municipal officials.
“I am very supportive of it,” said Clay Larson, project director of Bike to the Sea, a nonprofit whose mission is to complete a trail from Malden to Lynn and Revere’s waterfront. “The more people who get out of cars and onto bikes, the better.”
Mayor Brian Arrigo said it made sense for the region to adopt a bike sharing program.
“The idea is connectivity between communities,” he said. “Now, we’re in the process of working with LimeBike and Spin and expect to see bikes on the streets in a few weeks.”
In addition to Revere, this new regional system will allow users to pick up and drop off a bicycle anywhere in Arlington, Bedford, Belmont, Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Medford, Melrose, Milton, Needham, Newton, Waltham, Watertown, and Winthrop.
Several cities, including Revere, piloted dockless bike share last fall, and are now joining the regional effort to make cross border travel easier and safer, Arrigo said.
“People who live, work, and visit the service area will be able to rent bikes using a smartphone, and ride them anywhere in the 15-community region, starting at a cost of $1 for the first 30 minutes,” said Marc Draisen, MAPC’s executive director, in a statement. “The new system incorporates stationless, smart bike technology, and will also feature some pedal-assist electric bicycles, or ‘e-bikes,’ to make cycling uphill and into headwinds less challenging.”
Last year, Revere completed a pilot program with ofo, the Beijing, China company which calls itself the world’s first and largest station-free bike sharing platform. While the experiment was a success, the mayor said, there were complaints about bikes blocking sidewalks and handicapped ramps, and the company was slow to respond, he said. Ofo failed to respond to the Request For Proposals issued by MAPC.
“We understand there’s been some push back by people who say the bikes look messy or disorganized,” Clay said. “But the benefits outweigh them. So every now and then you have to stand a bike up and push it to the side. It’s not a big deal.”