Suffolk County RFP for a Bike Share

steve bellone, Newsday july 7, 2017

steve bellone, Newsday july 7, 2017

Suffolk County issued a request for proposal (RFP) for a vendor to design, build, finance, operate & maintain a regional bike share program, that will best meet the goals of the County, including:

  • Extending the reach of the transit network by providing last-mile connectivity
  • between transit stops and popular destinations;
  • Supporting bike safety through the development of a strong bike culture;
  • Supporting a ‘park once’ approach for cars where appropriate;
  • Decreasing the use of the automobile as the primary mode of transportation;
  • Encouraging a more active lifestyle and providing bicycles for intermittent
  • recreational use; and
  • Establishing a stronger bicycle network in Suffolk County, complete with new bike lanes and supporting infrastructure.

The RFP is due March 8, 2018. We aren't certain if they are entertaining both dockless and kiosk modes. What we do know is that Suffolk County needs to secure safe access to streets for a bike share scheme to work. From what we have read in Newsday, it seems this will be more geared towards connecting visitors arriving by bus or LIRR, to make that "last mile" connection, and those arriving by vehicle - so they leave it parked and zip around by bike. We expect this to be similar to the City of Long Beach Sobi Bike Share, Long Island's first dockless bike share program, rather than NYC's bike share, Citi-Bike, which is geared towards a transportation mode and alternative to subway hell. Knowing the landscape and general customer base, it would make sense to have a dockless bike share versus clunky kiosks (that's our .02).

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone has been pushing for this for over a year, hoping to get it rolled out by summer 2018. Last year in Newsday (July 7, 2017) Bellone said, “We think this is a win-win situation. Importantly, it shows Suffolk County can be a leader in cutting-edge transportation alternatives and technologies that better connect residents to our downtowns and our world-famous destinations and assets.


Cutting-edge technology, Steve? Hard to call bike share, which has been around for years, "cutting edge" when Vancouvers unrolling pedal-assist tricycles with heated grips and overhead. Behold: Veemo electric bike-share! This would be so hot in the Hamptons. 








But wait, there's more! Cutting-edge pedal-assist DOCKLESS bike share has unrolled - and it's rivaling Uber. It's called JUMP and it's sexy AF. JUMP bike share is solid enough for San Francisco hill, just imagine how this scheme could champion Suffolk County's terrain. Thinking game-changer. 



And then there's LA, which is light years ahead of New York in cutting-edge technology as they prepare to unroll the last mile electric scooter share: The Bird. 

The last mile electric scooter share- the bird

The last mile electric scooter share- the bird

But of course Suffolk County cannot have either Veemo or The Bird because electric-assist and motorized things are illegal and highly frowned upon in New York State. Steve, you want Suffolk County to be truly cutting-edge? Support legislation that will legalize electric bicycles.