City of Tempe working on regulating dockless bike companies

Posted at 6:08 PM, May 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-15 10:44:09-04

It's a pretty cool idea, you pay a couple of bucks, and you can pedal your way to any location you want in the Valley.

You've probably seen the bright colored bikes left in the most random places.

Now the City of Tempe is working on regulating the dockless bike companies. It's possible Tempe will start charging a licensing fee, plus an impound fee, for bikes that are abandoned for more than 24-hours.

The city is also looking at ways to data share with companies so it can see where people are riding, when and how many riders use the bikes a month. This is all information the city isn't privy to at this point.

Randy Keating is a Tempe city councilman who is working on a planning committee hoping to come up with a regulation game plan.

'They came in kind of came in without warning," said Keating. "Now we're reacting to them being in the city."

Keating says the city does like the bike rental concept and points out the moves Tempe has made to be more bike friendly. But he also points out people are leaving the bikes in odd places, at times even trying to destroy them by tossing them in Tempe Town Lake and on top of bus stops.

A spokesperson for OFO, which operates in Tempe, says it is working with the city to create guidelines for the bikes.

OFO says if the city moves to cap the number of bikes in the city, it wants to see it done on a sliding scale. The spokesperson added that a responsible company shouldn't be limited on business.

Tempe says OFO has been cooperative when dealing with complaints from residents. 

Tempe estimates there are about 600 rental bikes in the city. The city hopes to have the regulations in place this summer.