Bike Share Growing Pains Help Dallas Chart Plan to Rethink Transportation

If you've been in the Central Business District of Dallas, you've seen bike share rentals on sidewalks and street corners. They are helping chart the city's future alternative transportation needs.

"We cannot build our way out of congestion," said Dallas City Councilman Lee Kleinman. "So we have to look for alternatives."

The population of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex is expected to increase by more than 50-percent in the next quarter century. Kleinman says getting people out of their cars into public transportation or on bikes is key.

"Four months ago there was no bike share in the city of Dallas," explained Kleinman. "Today there are thousands of bike shares on city streets."

There are four bike share companies in the city, and two more have expressed interest. 

"I do get the message there are too many bikes," said Dallas' Lime Bike General Manager Anthony Fleo. "To that, I say there's not enough bikes." Fleo says Lime Bike plans to double its fleet by the end of the year to 5,000 bikes. "I think for this to work as a real mobility solution we need to have bikes available for anybody, whenever they actually need them," Fleo said.

Kleinman said the city took a hand-off approach in the beginning to let the market shake itself out. Kleinman said next year, the city may look at regulations. He thinks in the end only a couple of the companies will survive.

"The companies who respond in a reasonable time-frame are welcome to be here," said Kleinman.

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