Residents will start seeing new GRID bikes around downtown over the next month, as the city’s bike share vendor CycleHop LLC began an on-street test of the rentable green bike system’s operations and technology in December.

"Phoenix can be a world-class bicycling city, with the support of its cycling community and great initiatives like bike share," said Mayor Greg Stanton. "Key to that success will be the rider experience, and this street demonstration helps us learn how to hit the ground rolling and launch GRID bikes in the best way."

Cyclehop’s green GRID bicyles and temporary green bike racks are located at three sites in downtown Phoenix: near Fifth Street and Van Buren Street, at Second Avenue and Adams Street near Phoenix City Hall, and on Central Avenue near Taylor Mall by ASU’s downtown campus. A group of testers comprised mostly of CycleHop employees and city staff will use the system as typical customers, booking bikes online, via a mobile device, or on the bike itself; making trips for work or errands; and returning the bicycles to one of the hub locations later in the day, according to John Romero, director of CycleHop’s Phoenix operations.“

As we gear up to a system launch this spring, it’s important for us to get feedback from riders by beta testing our communications and tracking systems,” noted Romero. “The street test lets us see how customers are interacting with the bike, and what works best for different parts of our operation, like the restocking of bike hubs.”

At the end of the street demonstration period, participants will be surveyed on their experience, and that feedback will be used to finalize preparations for the system launch in April.

“It was key for us to see the bicycle interface tested, early in the process. As we are getting third-generation bike share technology with the rollout of this program, we want to make sure all the positives of being on the cutting edge were clear to users,” said Wylie Bearup, director, Street Transportation Department.

More information on the city’s bike share program, and online pre-sale of memberships, is available online at the Grid Bikes website at http://gridbikes.com/.   back...
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