New bike-share system concerns some Imperial Beach residents

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IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. — LimeBike, a new dockless bicycle-sharing system, rolled out in Imperial Beach this week.

“It’s a really good form of transportation. It’s healthy and it’s very cheap,” said a resident.

The bikes cost $1 per 30-minute ride. Students get a special rate of 50 cents, which means some high schoolers are riding them to campus.

“I usually just use Uber, so this is more convenient,” one student told FOX 5.

Here’s how it works: users download the LimeBike app, enter their credit card information, find the nearest available bike, then unlock it by scanning the barcode on the back. Once riders are finished with the bike, they lock it up by scanning the barcode again.

But not everyone is pleased with the new service, which is in its six-month trial period.

“These bikes are kind of annoying because they’re just cluttering the sidewalks. I mean it’s kind of great because people can just ride them, it’s $1 for a half-hour, but the city is allowing these bikes all over the place,” said Debra Rude.

“If you don’t want a bike, it’s perfect…the only thing that concerns me is that people just leave them in the streets,” another resident said.

Since the city launched the service Tuesday, surveillance video captured someone dumping a LimeBike in the middle of the street, where it sat until a passerby moved it. The video was posted to Facebook, where it garnered a mix of positive and negative comments.

“The real test is that people are using them,” Mayor Serge Dedina said. “The people that are using the bikes aren’t spending a lot of time on Facebook because they’re busy exercising and using the bikes. There is always going to be chatter about what is good or what’s bad but the fact is, the thing I’m dealing with, the threat to my community is the pollution coming across the border.”

As for concerns over the bikes being stolen, the mayor says it’s not that easy.

“You can’t. It’s GPS-enabled and you can’t unlock it, you can’t steal the parts and put them on other bikes because they don’t fit other bikes,” he said.

Now through October, members of the U.S. military can ride free.

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