Governing Dockless Bike Share: Early Lessons for Nice Ride Minnesota


Frank Douma , Austin Hauf

November 2018

Report no. CTS 18-22

Dockless bike share systems present an opportunity for cities to expand access to bike share by lowering costs and geographic barriers, but also create additional challenges in the areas of maintenance, parking, and right-of-way management. Most dockless providers are also private, venture-capital funded entities, representing a significant departure from current public and non-profit approaches. Other cities have encountered challenges in securing cooperation from these operators in areas such as data transparency. This raises a key question: To what extent can cities use contracts and governance to exchange use of the public right-of-way for operating requirements that advance equity, accessibility, innovation, and other goals? Using case studies from other U.S. cities and drawing insights from the wider "smart mobility" literature, this research presents recommendations for regulating dockless bike share in cities and ties these approaches to the implementation of Nice Ride Minnesota's dockless pilot. It will also examine prominent challenges in coordination and implementation and highlight novel approaches with an eye towards the future of bike share in the Twin Cities.

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McKnight Foundation