Tag Archives: DecoBikes

DecoBikes: All stations are operational

The folks at DecoBikes report this morning that after a week of wireless outages at many of their rental kiosks, all stations are working today.

This follows a difficult week for the Miami Beach sharing company, which has 100 bike sharing stations across Miami Beach. Problems with wireless connections with vendor T-Mobile left many stations inoperable; customers couldn’t check out bikes, or in some cases, couldn’t return them.

But all has been fixed as of 10:30 Saturday morning.

DecoBikes says service is improving; outages limited to six stations

DecoBikes says it has limited the service outages to just six stations on the 100-plus station bicycle sharing network on Miami Beach.

Since early this week, wireless connection from have made it difficult for DecoBikes customers to check out and return bicycles. Twice this week, DecoBikes recommended that customers who depend on the service for transportation temporarily find other ways to get around.

But the news is better on Friday evening. In an email, DecoBikes reports:

“At this time service has been restored to most stations except for the following few:

124 – Lennox & 6th St.
149 – Meridian & 17th St.
208 – 35th St. & Collins
306 – 69th St. & Collins
317 – Hawthorne Ave & Crespi
401 – 93rd St. & Collins

If you do encounter a station that says “Reporting to Bike Server” or “No Service” please send us an email with the station number (at the top of each station on the sides) and the approximate date and time that you saw the message. The best email to report an issue with the system is: info@decobike.com  This is also the best email to report a billing issue to if you incurred one.”

DecoBikes kiosks still unreliable, company says

The folks at DecoBikes continue to struggle with wireless connections at their bike sharing check-out stations.

On Thursday,  the kiosks on Belle Isle and around Sunset Harbour — on Purdy and in front of Publix on 20th Street– appeared to be working fine, but on Friday, they advised customers to use other transportation until problems are fixed.

We apologize for this inconvenience and we suggest you do not use DecoBike stations in Miami Beach today.”

According to an update from DecoBikes, they are having specific problems at the following stations:

108 – Michigan Ave & 3rd Street

116 – Ocean Dr & 14th Street

117 – Ocean Dr & 14th Place

118 – 13th Street & Washington Ave

119 – 11th Street & Washington Ave

121 – 7th Street & Collins Ave

128 – Pennsylvania Ave & 13th Street

140 – Pennsylvania Ave & 15th Street

143 – 15 Street & Collins Ave

147 – Pennsylvania Ave & Lincoln Rd

149 – Meridian Ave & 17th Street

208 – 35th Street & Collins Ave

306 – 69th Street & Collins Ave

DecoBikes is working with its wireless provider, T-Mobile, to work out the rest of the kinks. In an email to customers, they advise “while many stations are functioning, we caution riders that service could be interemittent and result in delays in their travel times.  If you have any questions regarding this issue, please send us an email:  info@decobike.com.”   

DecoBikes tells customers to seek other modes of transportation for next two days

If you are a regular DecoBikes user, you probably know that the bike kiosks have been malfunctioning for the last few days.

The problem is that the wireless connection between the kiosks and DecoBikes  HQ– the connection that enables users to pay either by credit card or their DecoBikes subscription card — hasn’t been working.

And the problem persists.

In an email to DecoBikes customers tonight, the bike rental service says it’s due to a problem with their wireless provider, T-Mobile.

We continue to experience intermittent communication at our kiosks due to an issue with our wireless data provider, T-Mobile.  Recent network changes/updates at T-Mobile have caused this issue, which we have been dealing with for several days.

We have been working around the clock with them for a resolution and tomorrow they are taking additional measures by sending staff to assist us on-site. Unfortunately, we must be patient while they try to remedy the situation as they process the data for transactions generated by our bike stations.

For those of you who use DecoBike for daily transportation, we advise you to seek alternative forms of transportation for the next 24-48 hours while we work with T-Mobile to get the issue resolved.

 

Decobikes expected to get approval for kiosk ads

Since it started in March 2011 with 30 stations and 300 bicycles, DecoBikes has grown to 83 stations and 850 bikes. In the next three months, another 27 stations are supposed to be added.

The operation signed up 250 members in its first month; there are now 2,380, according to the city. Trips monthly grew in the first year from 35,332 in March 2011 to 125,000 trips in March 2012.

DecoBikes is back asking for ads on kiosks

DecoBikes on Belle Isle. Advertising would go on the lime green device.

DecoBikes – Miami Beach’s popular bicycle sharing program – has stretched from South Beach to North Beach, bringing praise to Miami Beach from urbanists to tourists.

But the DecoBikes vendor, which bid on a program it said would be sustained by user revenue, is back at City Hall for the second time since the program launched, asking for permission to sell advertising on the bike rental kiosks.

This time, it looks like approval of some kind of advertising scheme is likely. It’s being recommended by the city administration and the City Commission approved it on first reading last week.

DecoBikes started its service in March 2011. In July, it asked for permission to place ads 7 feet by 2 feet on the lime green devices where you check out bikes. The city first delayed a decision until September, and then said no.

In the meantime, DecoBikes expanded its service from South Beach to Middle and North Beach. In much of the Beach, there’s a DecoBike station every few blocks. It operates 83 stations with 850 bicycles, and plans to install 27 more stations during the next three months.

The company says it lost $387,561 during 2011. It projects a loss of $76,500 for this year, despite increasing ridership and revenue.

DecoBikes does sell ads on the bicycles themselves; currently the baskets on the bikes features an ad for the W hotel on South Beach.

In the administration’s analysis of the issue, City Manager Jorge Gonzalez noted that when the city planning staff held workshops on kiosk advertising last year, “a majority of people who spoke at those meetings were opposed to any kind of advertising on the Deco Bike kiosks….some individuals stated that the matter should be reconsidered after one year of operation and after the city audits the books to verify whether advertising revenue is necessary to make this program financially viable.”

The recommendation from the Miami Beach administration would allow advertising on 40 of DecoBikes kiosks, which it estimates would generate about $211,200 in advertising (after the city takes a cut of $57,600). The ads would be a minimum of 22 inches by 48 inches on each of the 40 kiosks.

A public hearing on the proposal will take place July 18.

What do you think?

Should Decobike racks (like on Belle Isle) include advertising?

DecoBike rack on Belle Isle, near the bus shelter.

The folks behind the Decobike bicycle sharing program say that despite widespread use of their two-wheelers — and you see folks riding the bikes all over South Beach — the program isn’t generating enough revenue for it to expand to mid-Beach and North Beach.

They say allowing advertising on the rental kiosks will do the trick. There are Decobike stations almost every three blocks on South Beach, including one on on Venetian Way in Belle Isle Park. It’s easy to count 50 in the general South Beach/Sunset Harbor area right now. The ads would be 7 feet by 2 feet in size.

They would translate into a lot little billboards. The city commission couldn’t decide what to do about the issue in July, and referred Decobikes request to the commission Finance and Citywide Projects Committee. The item comes up this Wednesday, Sept. 14 — though the committee hasn’t made a recommendation yet.

A group called Scenic Miami, which is active on billboard and signage issues acround Miami and Miami Beach, is advocating against the ads. They say the city needs a better solution than adding advertisements to what will end up being 100 different locations around Miami Beach.

Herb Frank, a Belle Isle Homeowner Association board member, is active with Scenic Miami. A letter circulated by Herb and wife Barbara says:

Although community support for the Decobike rental initiative is growing, the failure of the program to meet its revenue targets should be addressed in ways other than the  city authorizing advertising on the kiosks.  Advertising on kiosks would be an eyesore, not only for those located on residential streets and in parks, but also in commercial areas, where this would be a visual detriment to already cluttered streetscapes.

In an editorial in late July, The Miami Herald advocated a different position:

Revisit the contract and each side give a little. Agree to smaller ads? Maybe in fewer locations? The city kicks in a small subsidy?

Just keep this smart and popular program rolling.

The commission meets Wednesday after 6 p.m.What do you think? Leave a comment.

Yippee! DecoBikes reach Belle Isle

DecoBikes on Belle Isle (photo by Josh Fisher)

It took almost two days, but DecoBikes finally delivered bikes to the Belle Isle station on Venetian Way.

Seven bikes were delivered Wednesday afternoon. Around the same time, we heard from DecoBikes HQ, and the swipe cards for monthly subscribers have arrived. So now, for $15 a month, you can grab a bike at our doorstep and ride across South Beach, leave it at another stop, and go about your business.

You can download an iPhone app to learn where the stations are (and how many bikes are there), or check the DecoBikes website.

Share your experiences when you share the ride. We’d like to hear about it.

New Miami Beach bike sharing program will include Belle Isle

DecoBikes, the company that plans to place bicycles at rental stations around Miami Beach, will include a kiosk in Belle Isle Park.

The station will be one of more than 100 stations to be installed across the city that will host 1,000 sturdy rental bikes, which can be used for short rides for either a monthly fee or a single rental.

The first stations are supposed to open in February. It’s not clear when the Belle Isle kiosk will be installed, said Scott Diffenderfer, president of the Belle Isle Residents Association and an active member of the city committee that is working on the project.

Thirty stations are supposed to be installed by the end of this month, when the first bikes will be available for short-term rental.

All of the stations are supposed to be finished by spring, including Belle Isle’s. Each will include a rack of self-locking silver-and-blue bikes in a solar-powered kiosk. Around South Beach, stations will be available within roughly a couple of blocks of each other.

The Miami Herald wrote an extensive article on the plan earlier this month.
Rental costs are meant to encourage short commutes — check out a bike, ride to Lincoln Road, put it in another kiosk, and go about your business. A monthly membership will cost $15, and you can sign up online. It will cover an unlimited number of rentals. The first 30 minutes of any rental — enough time to ride from Belle Isle to South Pointe Park, for example — would be free. After that, the fee can reach $6 an hour, depending on total time.
For tourists. short-term rentals and discounted passes will be available. And you can pay at the kiosk by swiping a credit card.