Electronic bikes JUMP into DC's dockless bikeshare scene - Technical.ly DC

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Sep. 27, 2017 10:23 am

Electronic bikes JUMP into DC’s dockless bikeshare scene

The latest bikeshare company to help the District test dockless technology provides a little extra pedal power.

JUMP bikes, on the road.

(Courtesy photo)

As if the recent D.C. debut of Mobike, Spin  and LimeBike weren’t enough, now a fourth dockless bikeshare company has added its bikes to the mix of rentable bikes that have arrived in D.C. in the last month.

JUMP bikes are enabled with electric motors that aid manual pedaling. The electronic motors are designed to work in tandem with the pedaling power that the user is applying, so that if the bike renter pedals harder to go faster or get up over a hill the motor also increases its output. (Baltimore’s bikeshare debuted with similar bikes).

The bikes can move at up to 19 mph, but JUMP CEO Ryan Rzepecki said there’s no issue with sharing a bike lane with non-motorized bicycles.

“You’re having to actually ride the bike as you go… I don’t think there’s any issue with the two sharing the lanes,” Rzepecki said.

Initially, JUMP deployed 50 bikes around the city when it launched its program on Monday, but it hopes to quickly expand that number to 400 bikes. Finding the bikes works much like any other bikeshare company. You download the JUMP app and it tells you where the bikes are. Unlike other dockless bikeshares, JUMP bikes cannot lock in any location, but they do have a U-lock built into them that allows them to lock to any bikestand in the city.

The website requests that users not ride the bicycles on the Capitol Crescent or MetBranch trails. Rzepecki said that users who repeatedly break this rule may have their accounts suspended.

JUMP is part of a dockless bikeshare pilot being conducted by the District Department of Transportation through April, 2018.

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Grace Ballenger

Grace Ballenger is a recent graduate from Wellesley College who has written for Slate and The Tempest. She enjoys writing about technology, language and culture.

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