Daniel Trevino on SoBi Long Beach, cycling on the boardwalk, and more
The warm weather of 2016 is presumably behind of us, but it has been a wonderfully warm autumn so far. In turn, I still find myself on the boardwalk of Long Beach often, and have noticed that SoBi Long Beach still has its bicycles outside throughout the city. In turn, I was curious to find out whether those bikes are going to be out all year.
On behalf of No Place Like Long Island, I spoke with Daniel Trevino, the Operations Director of SoBi Long Beach. Daniel not only explained how long the bikes will be outside for, but how SoBi works altogether. He also provided some cool stats: in 2016, the bikes of SoBi logged over 75,000 miles over the course of 24,000 trips.
How did SoBi Long Beach come about? Did the city seek you out? Was there a petition or demand from the town?
DT: Correct, the City of Long Beach put out an RFP for equipment and operations of a bike share system in the city. Social Bicycles won that RFP and is currently operating the system and managing day to day activities.
Where else does SoBi currently have bike share programs at the moment?
DT: We have 35 different systems, in 25 cities, in 5 countries, you can check specifics at www.socialbicycles.com/#where. Our biggest systems are in Portland, Hamilton [Canada], as well as the L.A. County region.
A lot of New Yorkers first learned of bike sharing through the Citi Bike program. How would you describe what SoBi has to offer?
DT: Social Bicycles is the world pioneer in smart bikeshare technology. With out technology, we put all the electronics on the bike. We have the ability to have real-time GPS tracking on the bikes, integrated lock system and active ride data collection.
SoBi Long Beach's kiosks mention that it is $50 for a season pass. Does that mean quarterly? When do the seasons start and end?
DT: SoBi Long Beach has two plans only. The pay-as-you-go plan is $8 an hour, prorated to the minute. The seasonal plan is $50 and it includes an hour of riding per day throughout the season. Every hour ridden past the included hour of riding is billed at the rate of $8 an hour, prorated to the minute. The season started on March 28th and will end on November 30th.
I still see the bikes present on the Long Beach boardwalk. Is SoBi Long Beach going to be present the whole year through the winter?
DT: Nope, bikes will be brought to storage for the winter, be given maintenance and will be deployed again next spring.
Are there any special events coming up for SoBi? Or is the focus on bicycles?
DT: We have participated in local bicycle rides such as the C.U.R.B. ride and have done a few community outreach efforts.
For a person to get a SoBi program into their town, what needs to happen?
DT: There needs to be political will and funds available for deployment and to cover capital costs. Usually this process is solicited via an RFP.
Is there something you wish more people knew about SoBi?
DT: I think that it is really cool that when people sign up and create a membership, they can view in their profile the amount of miles they've ridden, calories burned, and amount of money saved on gas!
When not busy with SoBi, how do you like to spend your free time?
DT: Going to sound redundant, but I like exploring New York by riding my bicycle.
Do you have a favorite spot in Long Beach?
DT: Gentle Brew.
Finally, what kind of bike do you ride in your spare time?
DT: My Trek Crossrip or my VanMoof.