Former Uber exec Aaron Schildkrout is joining the board of bike-sharing startup Jump

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Jump is also looking to raise a new round of funding.

Bike-sharing and ride-hailing have obvious parallels: Fighting local regulatory battles and coming up against an entrenched incumbent while trying to transform the way people travel.

That has led to a sharing of top talent between the two industries. The top ranks at most of the bike-sharing companies are littered with Uber and Lyft alumni, and now Jump, which has a partnership with Uber, is bringing on Aaron Schildkrout, Uber’s former head of driver product, to help advise the company as an independent board director.

Jump already has at least three former Uber employees in its management ranks, including COO Kenny Tsai, who was previously the general manager of Uber Freight.

Former Uber execs have gone on to found bike- or scooter-sharing startups, such as Travis VanderZanden, who started scooter sharing company Bird. There is also Davis Wang, the CEO of dockless bike-sharing company Mobike, and Chris Taylor, an executive at Chinese bike share company Ofo.

Schildkrout, who first came into contact with the Jump team at Uber while members of his team negotiated the partnership, is joining its five-member board, which includes Jump CEO Ryan Rzepecki and Menlo Ventures partner Shawn Carolan, who led his firm’s investment in Uber.

For Jump, Schildkrout brings a number of things to the table: In addition to his network and connections with Uber, Schildkrout has critical experience to lend from heading up the data science team and then the growth team, followed by leading the teams that managed the rider and then driver apps and services at Uber.

“While I was at Uber, I observed — up close — the incredible power of the product-market fit achieved by ride-sharing,” Schildkrout told Recode. “Jump’s dockless e-bike feels very reminiscent of that, only we’re still in inning one or two.”

Dockless bike- and scooter-sharing companies have seen intense momentum in the last 18 months, with investors pouring funds into the space. Ofo closed an $ 866 million funding round earlier this week; it has now raised a total of $ 2.2 billion. Bird closed a $ 100 million round weeks after the company closed its initial $ 15 million series A round.

Dockless bike and scooter sharing is a highly capital-intensive industry — given the costs of operating a fleet of bikes. That is compounded by the addition of e-bikes and scooters. That’s why Jump is in the middle of raising a growth round.

In January, the company was the only dockless bike service to receive a permit to operate in San Francisco. In February, the first full month of operation, Jump says the company saw around four trips for each of its 250 bikes a day at an average distance of 2.6 miles per trip.

Jump, previously called Social Bikes, only recently began operating its own fleet of dockless bikes. Prior to that it sold dockless bikes to a variety of clients like small fleet operators in more than 40 markets.

While Rzepecki said it was harder to raise funds as the company was repositioning from an equipment seller to a fleet operator, Jump’s years of experience working with local governments has been a clear advantage as the company scales.

Some of its competitors have rolled out its services in major markets as well as smaller towns and college campuses. Rzepecki said he doesn’t believe the latter two will be sustainable because the utlization rates won’t be high enough. That’s why Jump has its eye primarily on major markets both here and in Europe.

The company’s ambitions will certainly require a great deal of capital. But as investors place their bets on bike- or scooter-sharing companies, there will likely be consolidation among those that are struggling to attract funding.

Recode – All

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Apple Maps adds locations of bike-sharing stations in over 175 cities

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Apple Maps has been updated to include the locations of bike sharing services in over 175 cities in 36 countries, allowing tourists and those wanting to cycle around an area to quickly find the nearest bike-sharing station that can provide them the two-wheeled vehicles.
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Apple Maps shows you the nearest bike-sharing stations

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

 Apple has signed a partnership with Ito World to add bike-sharing data in Apple Maps in over 175 cities across 36 countries. The feature is now live and helps you find the nearest station by typing “bike sharing” in the search bar or the name of the service. Once again, Apple chose to integrate an existing data set instead of putting together this data in-house. Ito World has… Read More
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Uber’s latest venture is a bike-sharing service in San Francisco

Uber's piloting a new service in San Francisco alongside dockless bike-sharing startup Jump. Uber Bike will let users rent one of Jump's 250 bikes, charging $ 2 for the first 30 minutes and an additional per-minute fee thereafter. Jump was granted a p…
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Dockless bike-sharing startup LimeBike is working on creating virtual parking spots

It’s the company’s answer to cities’ concerns over bike congestion.

For consumers, the benefits of dockless bike-sharing are obvious: You can take a bike and park it anywhere. For cities, it’s a little more complicated.

Left unmanaged, bikes can stack up and create more congested pedestrian walkways. It’s a big part of why many cities across the U.S. are taking a measured approach to allowing these new dockless companies to enter their markets.

That’s why one company, LimeBike, is beginning to explore developing virtual parking zones. The idea is that riders will be able to locate these designated drop-off spots in the app.

For the uninitiated, dockless bike-sharing works a lot like today’s bike-sharing systems, except you can, in theory, park the bikes anywhere, locking and unlocking them by scanning a QR code with an app. That differs from current bike-sharing programs in places like New York and San Francisco, where bikes are docked to fixed locations.

Today, many bike-sharing players rely on consumers to be responsible and lock the bikes on existing racks or other city-sanctioned locations.

Other competitors like Zagster, which recently launched a new dockless product called Pace, have opted to strategically position bike racks throughout the cities or campuses it operates in.

A primary value proposition for these companies and their investors is the low cost of infrastructure. The money that would have been spent on expensive racks or kiosks can instead be spent on things like manufacturing more technologically advanced bikes and expanding the types of vehicles they offer consumers. In other words, differentiating the service from rivals.

If it works, Limebike’s method would establish designated parking areas without adding the costs of physical racks to its balance sheet. The company says it is considering partnering with local retailers that would be willing to have a parking zone in front of or near their storefronts, which in turn could drive foot traffic to those locales.

This would require relying on consumers to be willing to walk a few or more blocks to and from those spots that may not always be right next to their destination. To encourage users to park in those designated spots, instead of directly in front of or next to their end location, Limebike says the company is thinking about creating a sort of incentive program for consumers.

An alternative solution that LimeBike — which recently hit one million rides in the U.S. — is considering is to give a free or discounted ride to people who would be willing to move a bike from one location to another one that perhaps has more demand.

These solutions will come in handy as the company attempts to enter markets that are dominated by entrenched incumbents like the country’s largest docked bike-sharing operator, Motivate. The company and its competitors have been seeing considerable progress even in some of the more difficult markets to crack

Most recently, New York City put out a public request for information to explore the feasibility of dockless bike-sharing systems. The systems will not be allowed to operate where Citi Bike, operated by Motivate, already exists, but if all goes well, the city expects to have a pilot program up and running by the summer or fall of 2018.

LimeBike, which only launched in the U.S. earlier this year, has already expanded rapidly across the country, and has plans to launch in Europe in 2018.

Recode – All

Analysis: Are bike-sharing schemes a smart city’s friend or foe?

Are bike-sharing schemes a smart city's friend or foe?

There is much to be said for getting urbanites to switch to bike-sharing schemes for their daily commutes, but city authorities need to maintain some control, as Jessica Twentyman reports. 

This week, smart bike-sharing provider Mobike received a ‘Champions of the Earth’ award, the UN’s highest environmental honour, at the third annual UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya.

The award was presented to Mobike founder and president Hu Weiwei, in recognition of her company’s achievement in combining technology and an innovative business model to improve urban eco-mobility while addressing the challenge of urban air pollution.

Mobike operates a ‘pick-up-and-ride scheme’ that doesn’t rely on docking stations, unlike San Francisco’s Ford GoBike scheme or London’s Santander-sponsored ‘Boris’ bikes. Instead, its bikes are tracked by GPS, can be picked up and left virtually anywhere and are located, paid for and unlocked by users using their smartphones.

Since it launched in China in 2016, Mobike’s 200 million users worldwide have collectively cycled over 18.2 billion kilometres, equivalent to reducing CO2 emissions by more than 4.4 million tons, or taking 1.24 million cars off the road for a year, the company claims. The service is available today in 200 cities globally, and staged its European launch earlier this year, starting with the UK cities of Manchester and Salford and, more recently adding the London Borough of Hackney.

Read more: Sherlock anti-theft bike device partners with Orange Business Services

Smart bike connectivity

Mobike is a great example of an IoT-based company with the potential to change the way we move around our congested, polluted cities. IoT connectivity doesn’t just help users access the service, but also enables the company to monitor the condition of every bike in its fleet, identify demand  ‘hot spots’ and redistribute bikes accordingly.

Each bike is connected to the Mobike IoT network via its GPS-embedded smart lock, with connectivity provided by different companies in different regions. In the US, for example, Mobike has announced it will be using telco AT&T’s 4G cellular network, combined with IoT modems from Qualcomm to stay connected. In the UK, connectivity is provided by Vodafone.

Read more: Greentomatocars joins IoT network mapping air pollution in London

The downside of bike-sharing success

However, there is a more worrying side to all this. While Mobike may be the largest operator of its kind, it’s by no means the only one. Streets in China have been flooded with shared bikes as venture capitalists have poured money into different schemes, all seeking a slice of the same potentially lucrative pie and drastically cutting prices to stake their claim.

In Shenzhen, for example, you’ll see orange bikes from Mobike alongside yellow ones from Ofo and light blue ones from Xiaoming Bike. The first two companies have already made their first forays into the US and Europe, as well as other parts of Asia. Others, including Hong Kong’s GoBee and Singapore’s OBike, are doing the same.

Local governments in these regions need to keep a careful eye on the situation. The biggest problem seems to be that, unlike their dock-based counterparts, these dockless schemes are sometimes introduced without the say-so or oversight of city authorities.

In China, the consequences of that lack of control have become all too clear, with a glut of offerings resulting in many bikes going unused and cluttering up urban spaces. That’s not very environmentally friendly and it annoys city dwellers, who find themselves forced to negotiate stacks of bikes close to the entrances to metro stations and car parks.

These schemes may also pose a competitive threat to established bike-sharing services, which typically do have the right local permissions in place to operate, but face the extra costs associated with keeping docking stations maintained.

It’s a situation that is already challenging local authorities in Munich, Amsterdam and Paris, according to a recent Bloomberg report. It needs careful monitoring everywhere. While Mobike’s contribution to cutting carbon emissions is to be applauded, it’s clear that cities can sometimes have too much of a good thing – and after all, nobody ever claimed that the path to smart city status would be an entirely smooth ride.

Read more: Smart city of Aarhus uses Bluetooth sensors to improve traffic flows

The post Analysis: Are bike-sharing schemes a smart city’s friend or foe? appeared first on Internet of Business.

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Indian ride-hail player Ola just launched its own dockless bike-sharing service

Using the same app as they would to hail a ride, Ola users can find the nearest dockless bike.

Most companies in the on-demand transportation world are attempting to solve for the first- and last-mile problems many people face in urban areas. How, for example, do you get from your New York City subway stop to your actual destination?

Those companies typically offer a single solution. For ride-hail companies, it’s usually on-demand cars and sometimes motorcycles, depending on the country. For bike-sharing companies, it is strategically placed bikes. But now, India’s homegrown ride-hail player Ola is experimenting with offering both cars and bikes to its growing user base across the country.

The company, which raised $ 1.1 billion in October and also offers an on-demand auto-rickshaw service, just launched a dockless bike-sharing pilot in some parts of India. Customers can access the service, called Pedal, on the same Ola app they use to hail a car.

While it’s just a pilot and is only available on a number of campuses at first, Pedal opens up a world of opportunity around multi-modal transportation for the company. The integration of a bike-sharing app allows Ola users to bike to a place where it’s more convenient or cheaper for an Ola driver to pick them up. That’s also true for getting to a destination a car can neither take you to easily — because of congestion or other impediments — nor take you there affordably.

“Bicycles are a sustainable and efficient alternative for covering first- and last-mile mobility needs in our cities,” an Ola spokesperson said.

Given that the bikes are GPS-enabled and the service is integrated within the Ola app, customers will be able to plan their route better by targeting pick up or drop-off locations where there are bikes available.

“Ola Pedal will go a long way in solving larger issues like pollution and congestion in cities, especially for short distance trips,” the spokesperson continued.

Ola isn’t the only company with its sights set on owning more aspects of the multi-model transportation. Ford, which operates a docked bike-sharing system in San Francisco and acquired the shuttle service Chariot, is also exploring the opportunities around offering multiple transportation solutions.

With its eye on reducing pollution in the country, Didi, Ola’s Chinese counterpart, has also invested in major dockless bike-sharing company Ofo. Like Ola’s customers, Didi’s riders can find an Ofo bike right in the Didi app.

In China, dockless bike-sharing has become so popular that there were more bike-sharing rides in China in the first quarter of 2017 than the total number of on-demand trips in India in that same period.

The problem, however, that many of these bike-sharing systems have come across is its bikes stacking up and congesting sidewalks and pedestrian roadways. That’s become a central concern for local regulators in the U.S. as dockless bike-sharing companies just begin to take off.

Still, there is great potential for this service in India, given the sheer size of the market and the recent efforts to promote sustainability. The company said it’s working on expanding the scope of Pedal in the next few weeks, and has garnered “massive interest” from campuses and cities across the country.

Recode – All

A bike-sharing war is coming to the U.S. as investors pour money into new entrants

The U.S. is beginning to see movement in the bike-sharing space that grew to be so popular in places like China and Europe.

Forget the ride-sharing wars. Transportation has a new battleground: Bike-sharing.

After seeing great success in places like China and Europe, dockless or free-floating bike-sharing has started to expand aggressively into the U.S. — but with that comes staunch opposition from incumbent players and, in some cases, the very cities they’re trying to court.

For the uninitiated, dockless bike-sharing works a lot like today’s bike-sharing systems, except you can, in theory, park the bikes anywhere, locking and unlocking them by scanning a QR code with an app. That differs from current bike-sharing programs in places like New York and San Francisco, where bikes are docked to fixed locations.

Dockless bikes are also GPS enabled, allowing companies to easily track and move them around to places of high demand.

Select bike-sharing services on the map below to see their market share in different cities:

But as these few companies, just months old, attempt to scale across the U.S. and enter new cities, they are facing off against established players that have secured exclusive, long-term contracts. Bike-sharing systems already in place in cities like New York and Boston, for example, have sometimes more than decade-long deals in place.

It’s a moment akin to when Uber and Lyft were trying to enter markets like New York City and faced opposition from yellow cab and black car companies.

A turf war has already broken out in San Francisco between Motivate, the company that owns and operates the city’s current bike-share system (known as Ford GoBike), and the electric bike-sharing startup Jump, a new player that recently applied for a permit for 1,000 bikes.

Motivate has an exclusive contract with the city until 2025, and the company has argued that granting permits to Jump (or anyone else) would violate that agreement.

Stationless bike-sharing has had more luck in Seattle, where city regulators decided to do away with the city’s existing bike-share system to create a permit program for these kiosk-free bikes. Seattle felt its existing system was aging and unsustainable, giving dockless systems from companies like LimeBike and Spin the opportunity to swoop in.

Some of the new players hail from China, which can complicate some of the municipal negotiations, but even the homegrown companies are contending with city agencies. And everyone’s fighting against each other for what has become a highly competitive new market.

Chinese players like Ofo and Mobike have seen incredible success in establishing and building out a bike-sharing system in China and now they’re muscling their way into the U.S. There were more bike-sharing rides in China in the first quarter of 2017 than there were ride-sharing and bike-sharing rides combined in all of North America.

Here’s a breakdown of what’s happening now.

The incumbent

Citi Bike bikes parked in their docking station Spencer Platt / Getty


U.S. Markets: New York City; Bay Area; Boston; Chicago; Washington, D.C.; Chattanooga, TN; Columbus, OH; Jersey City, NJ; Portland, OR

Advantages: A more than three-year head start in many of these markets; exclusive contracts with some of the cities that don’t end until as early as 2025 and as late as 2029; bikes are only parked in specific areas chosen by the city, reducing risk of bikes stacking up.

Disadvantages: The company sometimes pays rental fees to the cities; added cost of docking infrastructure; availability is limited to locations where there is a dock.

Price: Varies by city. Citi Bike in NY: $ 12 for a day pass for 30-min rides plus $ 4 for every additional 15 minutes; $ 24 for three days; $ 163 annual membership.

Motivate is the company behind bike-sharing systems like Citi Bike in New York, Ford GoBike in San Francisco and Hubway in Boston. Currently led by New York’s former Metropolitan Transportation Authority chief Jay Walder, the three-year-old company recently hit 50 million rides in New York City and close to 18 million in total ridership across the country.

The company has secured exclusive rights in cities like New York, where its contract doesn’t end until 2029. The model varies city by city, but typically Motivate secures some version of a public-private partnership with the regulating body in that market. In some cities, like Washington, D.C., the docks and other operating costs are publicly funded.

In New York City and San Francisco, Motivate is solely responsible for the costs of the infrastructure and operations. The company was said to be paying New York City $ 5 million annually to cover the costs of lost parking revenue. The company also has a revenue-share agreement with some of these cities and makes a payment for the public space it uses to dock the bikes.

The company is currently looking into dockless bike technology, Walder told Recode, but wants to ensure that it’s delivering the same quality of experience.

The new players

All the new players are dockless, which means they save money by not having to set up expensive stations or pay rental fees to the local government.

What the companies save on infrastructure they can spend on the costs of managing the bikes. Since the bikes are GPS-tracked, companies can more quickly meet demand by moving bikes to various locations, a process called rebalancing. Bikes are picked up and dropped off in sprinter vans driven by a mix of contractors and employees.

The primary pitch for these new systems is that they will help democratize bike-sharing because of their low cost. They can also more quickly expand to neighborhoods that are under-served by the current bike-sharing companies, what some critics have charged as red-lining. In deep Brooklyn, for example, Motivate hasn’t installed any stations, leaving area residents without any place to pick up or dock a bike.

The dockless technology also enables companies to share an unforeseen level of trip and route data with the cities. That anonymized data will then help cities plan for things like where to put the newest bike lanes.

The biggest concern cities have, so far, is about where the bikes will be parked and the risk of the bikes collecting in specific parts of the city. (These companies argue that’s where rebalancing comes in.)

Here are some of the major players:

A woman on a green LimeBike bike in front of a blue polkadot wall. LimeBike


U.S. Markets: Seattle; Washington, D.C.; Dallas; Aurora, Colo.; Alameda, CA; South Lake Tahoe, CA; South San Francisco, CA; Imperial Beach, CA; North Bay Village, FL; Key Biscayne, FL; North Carolina State University; Greensboro NC; Arkansas State University; Holy Cross College; University of Notre Dame; South Bend, IN

Advantages: Raised a total of $ 62 million from major backers like Coatue Management, GGV Capital, Yuri Milner and A16z; has a strategic partnership with bike manufacturer FSD; also has exclusive contracts with a number of cities and college campuses.

Disadvantages: Competing against exclusive contracts in major cities; added costs of rebalancing bikes.

Price: $ 1 per every 30 minutes; $ 29.95 per month for 100 rides

LimeBike, which was founded earlier this year, has expanded quickly. The San Mateo-based company is now in 16 markets including a few college campuses and has struck exclusive pilot agreements or contracts in some of the cities where it operates.

Fresh off a new round of funding, LimeBike said it expects to be in more than 30 cities and campuses by the end of the year.

The company, like its dockless competitors, is working vigorously to launch in major markets like New York where Motivate has exclusive contracts. However, there are some potential loopholes. For instance, companies like LimeBike can try to secure a pilot agreement to test their service for a limited time.

Alternatively, the company is also trying to help cities set up a separate permit for dockless bikes, which means it could potentially not run afoul of exclusive contracts like the ones granted to Motivate, since those would pertain to a different kind of permits.

This was the case in Washington, D.C., which has a publicly funded, docked bike-sharing system managed by Motivate called Capital Bikeshare. But the city has allowed dockless companies like LimeBike to operate under a separate permit. However, the permit caps at 400 the number of bikes each company can launch in the city.

Additionally, LimeBike has taken the strategy of launching in smaller municipalities, cities or college campuses in the vicinity of these larger markets where bike-sharing has seen some success and demand.

The young company also has the advantage of being fairly vertically integrated with major bike manufacturer FSD. This way, as the technology in bikes advances, LimeBike can quickly get hold of the newest bikes and introduce them into their markets.

Spin	Spin
Spin bikes


U.S. Markets: Seattle; Washington, D.C.; Dallas; South San Francisco, CA

Advantages: Exclusive partnerships with some college campuses, WeWork and the WorldBank; raised $ 8 million from Grishin Robotics and others.

Disadvantages: Has raised less money than its dockless competitors, competing against exclusive contracts of incumbent players, cost of labor and time spent rebalancing.

Price: $ 1 per every 30 minutes; $ 29 monthly membership; $ 99 annual membership.

The San Francisco-based company was founded in November 2016 and operates fairly similarly to LimeBike and its other competitors. In fact, there are a lot of overlaps in the cities where they operate.

Spin is on track to launch in a new city or a market for each week in the fourth quarter, according to its co-founder Euwyn Poon.

Like LimeBike, Spin is launching in many cities around major markets like San Francisco and New York in order to create a model for those regulating bodies and create demand. (It’s a move Uber pulled around cities in which it was not legally allowed to operate.)

Spin also has exclusive relationships with some college campuses as well as businesses like WeWork, for which the company is the exclusive bike-sharing provider for all of its locations in San Francisco.

People ride bright yellow Ofo bikes in Washington D.C. 	Ofo
Ofo bikes


U.S. Markets: Seattle; Washington, D.C.; Worcester, MA; Revere, MA

Advantages: Raised more than $ 1.2 billion from major strategic backers like Ali Baba and Coatue; backed by strong Chinese ride-hail player Didi Chuxing; has had success scaling its business across China; experience scaling the system globally.

Disadvantages: Foreign-based company competing in a space where data-sharing and relationships with local regulators are key; competing in space where local market nuances are important; competing against exclusive contracts of incumbent; cost of labor and time spent rebalancing.

Price: $ 1 per hour

Ofo, having seen great success in its base country China, has begun to expand globally. The company has expanded to parts of the U.K., Singapore, Kazakhstan and now four markets in the U.S.

While homegrown U.S. players are in their infancy, Ofo is already operating in 180 cities since its founding in 2014.

Ofo comes the closest to being the Uber for bike-sharing. For good reason: Ofo is backed by Uber rival Didi Chuxing, which has strategically grown its business outside of China without ever physically launching an international market.

In the same vein, Didi and its Southeast and South Asian allies Grab and Ola have seen great success in focusing on hyperlocal businesses that cater to regional nuances. That will be a strategy Ofo will have to employ as it attempts to build out its U.S. operations.

A big selling point by these new players is the anonymized data they can provide cities, which can help immensely with infrastructure planning. It will be difficult to enter most cities without a true partnership between regulators and the companies, but VP of U.S. Operations Grace Lin said Ofo is more than willing to be a partner.

The company only just began its U.S. expansion but is already in four cities, where it’s competing head to head with many of the homegrown players.

From left to right Dr. Chongrak Wachrin, Suvit Arayavilaipong (SVP-Product Management, AIS), Joe Xia (Co­Founder and CTO of Mobike), Nattakit Tangpoonsinthana (Executive Vice President of Marketing Mobike
From left to right Dr. Chongrak Wachrin, Suvit Arayavilaipong (SVP-Product Management, AIS), Joe Xia (Co­Founder and CTO of Mobike), Nattakit Tangpoonsinthana (Executive Vice President of Marketing


U.S. Markets: Washington, D.C.

Advantages: Global bike-sharing company that has seen great success in China; knows how to compete against Ofo in a very difficult market; raised more than $ 900 million from backers like Foxconn and Tencent.

Disadvantages: Foreign-based company competing in a space where data-sharing and relationships with local regulators are key; competing in space where local market nuances are important; competing against exclusive contracts of incumbent; cost of labor and time spent rebalancing.

Price: $ 1 per 30-minute ride

Chinese player Mobike is only in Washington, D.C., but it has raised more than $ 900 million and expanded to parts of Southeast Asia and Europe.

As of the summer of 2017, the company was seeing 20 million rides a day globally. Today, Mobike is in active talks with cities to expand across the U.S.

Recode – All

Mobike’s dockless bike-sharing service comes to Washington, DC

Washington DC is one of the most bike-happy cities in America, with around five percent of commuters pedaling around the city each day. That's one of the reasons why Mobike, a company that has mostly been in China and Europe until now, is launching a…
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NYC’s Citi Bike adds Apple Pay to make bike-sharing easier

Next time you rent a Citi Bike in New York or New Jersey, you'll be able to pay with your iPhone. The latest update for the bike-sharing service's app adds support for Apple Pay, as spotted by AppleInsider. No, this isn't the most exciting update, bu…
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