SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – A special News 8 investigation looks into viewers' complaints about dockless bikes being left everywhere and anywhere around town, often staying in the same place for days at a time.
In the investigation, News 8’s Shannon Handy placed a bike operated by Limebike outside the KFMB studios over a week ago. The bike's battery indicator showed it was low.
Handy found a different working Limebike and placed it along side the bike with the low battery. By day two the working bike was gone but the low battery bike still remained at the same spot - neglected and inoperable.
Ten days after News 8 parked the Limebike in front of the KFMB studios, it was never picked up - still with low battery and remaining unusable.
This appears to be the case all over San Diego – dockless bikes and scooters left for days and often in places they should not be placed.
A woman interviewed by News 8 was frustrated that bikes have been parked in front of her gate and have also seen some parked in red zones.
News 8 conveyed viewers' concerns to all four companies operating in San Diego: Bird, Limebike, ofo and Mobike.
“What we try to do is have our bikes only when and where people want them the most, so they are not sitting,” said Jason Wong, the general manager for Mobike in the U.S.
He said their company usually picks up bikes within a couple of days if they have not been used.
People can also request pickups on the app, via email or an 800 number displayed on the bike.
“So we constantly monitor that data, and we have a local operations team that is very motivated to move those bikes to where they’ll be used,” said Wong.
By phone, ofo told News 8 they too take requests by email and phone with a three hour response rate.
Bird sent News 8 a statement that said in part:
“Birds are collected each night to be charged, checked for maintenance needs, and most importantly, to be re-positioned according to rider demand each morning.”
Further, Bird said people can email, call or request a pick-up on the app.
Limebike, which owns the bike left outside the KFMB studios has not responded to News 8’s request for comment.
Coronado has already started impounding dockless bikes.
San Diego officials have no plans to impound the dockless bikes, but they have sent out a letter to the companies warning them about the rules.
Request a pickup: