It looks like Long Beach will be the first city in LA County to have a bike share program as the City let go of its former contract with the defunct Bike Nation, handing it over to German company Nextbike. This follows the announcement earlier this year that the City would bid for a Downtown bike share program.
According to the contract signed by the City of Long Beach last March, Nextbike will be responsible for installing “up to two hundred fifty (250) bike stations comprising three thousand seven hundred fifty (3,750) bike docks with two thousand five hundred (2,500) bicycles[.]”
Nextbike owns the world’s largest international bike sharing network (20,000 bikes) with a presence in more than 30 German cities and in Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Dubai, Hungary, Latvia, New Zealand, Poland, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
The contract specifies that both docking stations will be installed over four installation periods (page 34 of the contract linked above), with an initial implementation that was supposed to have occurred last month with a launch of 100 bikes. Maybe this month?
The second installation, set to be deployed in November of this year, will include a proposed 70 smart docking stations with 700 bikes.
“The launch of this deployment may be contingent upon the success of the prior deployment at Nextbike’s discretion, Nextbike receiving additional public and/or private capital funding, and/or obtaining a major program sponsor,” the contract said.
The third installation increases to 80 stations with 800 bikes with a deadline of April of 2016; once again, implementation of this depends on the success of the previous deployment.
By April 2017, Nextbike is scheduled to deploy an additional 90 stations with 900 bikes, bringing the grand total to 250 stations with 2,500 bikes.
Both physical docking stations and “virtual docking” stations are set to be installed. Virtual docking stations are areas which the GPS tool on the bike can be read within a certain vicinity and you can simply lock your bike to a Nextbike rack or on a regular rack.