Sixth company hopes to join the Dallas bike share battle

A sixth bike share company may be coming to Dallas.

Dallas already has 20,000 colorful bicycles scattered about the city, mostly in downtown and nearby neighborhoods. At least one Dallas council member says it’s too many.

The city manager said in a memo late Friday that the city has received 200 complaints just in the past three weeks. It’s evidence that the hands-off approach to regulating bike share in Dallas has problems.

Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway says it was a mistake to open bike share up to any company with a bike. He met with the five bike share companies already in Dallas on Friday.

It was a botched rollout,” he said. “I said to them we have more bikes around here than we have citizens in the city. You can't just have 20-30,000 bikes. They're not that many people riding bikes at one time in any city other than somewhere overseas.

At 10,000 bikes, LimeBike has the lion share. Anthony Fleo is the regional general manager of LimeBike. He is defending their numbers, saying ridership is steadily increasing.

“Two weeks ago, we broke our single day ridership total with 5,900 rides,” he said. “A week after that, we had our highest two-day total with 10,000 rides for the weekend."

Fleo said they aren't bringing in any more bikes, at least for now. But, a sixth company could soon be coming to town.

Tim Alborg with Zagster says his company's ‘pace’ bike share program is different in a key way.

"We require these bikes be locked to something such as a public bike rack,” he said. “I think the city is looking at enforcing some regulations here in the near future. I'm not sure if they'll still be here in six months. We're hoping we will be here in six months."

Alborg is in town from San Francisco to work to influence city leaders about regulations that he says could make bike-sharing better.

“We want to partner with the city and be collaborative in a way that bike share can be sustainable in the community in a way that doesn't impact pedestrians and people with disabilities,” he said.

While the city threatened to start picking up bikes after Friday, it will only happen if a company refuses to respond to a complaint that a bike is in a dangerous spot.

A city council committee will meet February 26 to start hacking out bike share regulations.