Go ahead and JUMP.
You may have seen those brightly colored neon red semi-motorized electric bikes rolling around your neighborhood. You may have even ridden one. And now they are in Santa Cruz.
JUMP Bikes (Social Bicycles, Inc.) is a dockless electric bicycle sharing system currently operating in select few cities like Washington D.C., New York, Chicago, San Francisco and, yes, Santa Cruz since May 2018 with a fleet of 250 electric bicycles. The bike share system is designed for both visitors and residents in mind to provide affordable short-term bike rentals for quick trips within City limits and bring a new transportation option to the community. They can be used to commute to work, take a trip downtown or to the beach, or as an extra bike for out-of-town guests.
The bikes cost $2 for the first half-hour to rent (then 7¢ per minute), and are located using a companion JUMP Bikes smartphone app. You have to be 18 or older to use the service. Just download the app to sign up and locate a bike nearby. (There’s actually a JUMP Bike hub located nearby on Seabright Avenue; just a short walk away from our Beach Haven at Seabright vacation rental home.) Unlock the bike and start riding.
Each JUMP bike has a 250-watt electric motor which powers the front tire, giving you a boost up to 20mph every time you pedal. And a Skirt Guard that protects your clothes from getting caught in the back wheel and from getting dirty, night lights that automatically turn on when it gets dark outside, sturdy bike lock, bell, adjustable seat and a large basket.
You can now even rent JUMP bikes directly from the Uber App in San Francisco. JUMP is “partnering” with Uber to offer Uber Bike in SF as a test and will eventually be rolling it out to other cities and users over time. I say “partnering” because Uber acquired JUMP Bikes in April 2018 for $200 million.
When you’re done with your ride and get to where you’re going , simply lock up the bike at a designated hub or bike rack.
But a lot of people don’t, and that is really pissing off a lot of local residents. JUMP Bikes are getting left on street corners and in front of people’s homes; sometimes even locked up on their property, next to fire hydrants, blocking sidewalks, etc.
People can’t lock them to racks if they don’t exist where they are going. That’s the problem with the coastal hubs – there are not enough bike racks available in enough locations, so private properties and inappropriate poles and fences blocking access, and public walkways become the racks.
There have also been reports on NextDoor by neighbors about JUMP riders behaving irresponsibly and being reckless by clipping pedestrians and other bicyclists while speeding past them along a narrow path, running stoplights, not stopping for pedestrians halfway through a crosswalk downtown, and a new car being sideswiped apparently by a JUMP bike.
To JUMP’s credit, when discarded bikes are reported (you can send an email to email@example.com or phone (833) 300-6106), JUMP employees come to collect the misplaced bikes and relocate them. And they also crack down on repeat offenders who behave badly.
There is specific information about the City’s bike share partnership program and its rules and parking regulations, along with frequently asked questions on the City of Santa Cruz’s website. And there’s a lot of good information on jumpbikes.com as well. So there’s really no excuse for anyone behaving badly. Just use common sense, be respectful of local residents and considerate of those around you (don’t be a dick), wear a helmet, and follow the rules of the road and it should prove to be the successful bike share program it was designed to be.
So JUMP on your bikes and ride – safely and responsibly please.
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