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City of Tempe to set parameters for dockless bike share companies

(Facebook/Ofo)

PHOENIX — The City of Tempe has begun to take steps in addressing complaints over dockless bike share companies.

Customers are allowed to leave the rented bikes pretty much anywhere after arriving at their destination, as the bikes are locked and tracked by GPS. However, some customers have taken liberties with their dropoffs, leaving the bikes literally anywhere.

Instagram account @litterbikesofaz takes photos of some of these parking jobs, which include bikes upside down, missing parts and even one submerged in water.

Customers can rent bikes for an hourly fee by scanning a bike code with their smartphone and then taking it. After arriving, the bike locks, the person is charged and can leave the bike behind.

Ideally, the next person would take the bike and ride it to their own destination, leaving it for the following person.

However, there have been issues with this concept around the Valley.

In Scottsdale, there have been complaints of bikes left at bus stops, street corners and sidewalks, said Paul Basha, the city transportation director.

Phoenix councilmember Sal DiCiccio has met with representatives from OFO, one of the bike share companies, over issues in Phoenix, according to the East Valley Tribune.

The City of Tempe has started to set parameters for the dockless bike share companies that operate in the city.

Mayor Mark Mitchell and two councilmembers formed a group to work with the companies and ensure riders were “good stewards” and respect personal property.

“The operatives are going to have to provide the city with a monthy report on usage, there will be a $12,000 license fee,” he said.

“There could be some impound implications if some bikes are not in places where they should be for a long period of time, we had the opportunity to work with them to remove them and there will be a fee associated with that.”

There are currently three dockless bike share companies operating in Tempe: SPIN, the orange bikes; LIME, the green with yellow bikes; and OFO, the yellow bikes. GRID, which includes 300 bikes and and 32 stations, is the official bike share system of the city.

“It’s a great opportunity for our residents. It’s popular, but at the same time it provides some challenges in terms of where are the users actually placing their bikes,” Mitchell said. “I think we’re in a good position in working with the dockless bike companies as we continue to improve the quality of life in the city of Tempe.”

KTAR News’ Ali Vetnar contributed to this report.

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