Collaboration May Bring Dock-Less Bikes To Champaign

April 19, 2018
The building that houses the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation

The building that houses the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation where officials from University of Illinois and the cities of Urbana and Champaign met on Thursday.

Daniel Baker/Illinois Public Media

A new bike-sharing program may bring two-thousand bikes to Champaign-Urbana by this fall. 

Officials with University of Illinois and the cities of Urbana and Champaign met today at the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation to discuss the initiative. 

Ben LeRoy is the associate planner for Champaign's Planning and Development department. He says anyone will be able to rent a bike and safely park it anywhere with an app without requiring a docking station.

“It requires an affirmative action on the part of the user to lock the bike, whether that’s pressing a button on the bike or pulling their phone out and opening the app back up and saying I’m done with my bike," said LeRoy.

Lily Wilcock, active transportation coordinator for UIUC's Transportation Demand Management says some people have been concerned that a dockless bike left locked without a rack makes it vulnerable to theft. 

“You’re thinking well that’s really easy for you to steal one right? You can just pick the bike up and throw it in the back of a truck or a van," said Wilcock. 

She says these dock-less bikes are equipped with GPS, which will notify companies if they leave a geo-fenced area, and allow that company to track them. 

LeRoy says Urbana’s City Council is set to approve proposed rules for the program on May 21. He says the City of Champaign could start issuing licenses to dockless-bike companies in mid-June. 

Story source: WILL