Photo courtesy of JUMP Bikes.
On May 17, 2018, Sacramento’s JUMP Bike Program was launched and has enjoyed even more popularity than anticipated. The new electric bike rental program has been met with such enthusiasm that the initial number of bikes couldn’t keep up with the demand.
JUMP Bike is a electric boost bicycle rental program that help reduce traffic congestion, parking demand, and pollution by making rental bikes readily available throughout the city for daily errands, work commutes, and general fun.
Keeping Up With JUMP Bike Demand in Sacramento
Sacramento’s local electric bike rental program kicked off with 300 bikes operating in the Sacramento, West Sacramento, and Davis areas.
That supply, however, is not keeping up with city demands. Difficulty finding an available bike nearby has been cited as the number one complaint about the program.
Why are the bicycles so hard to find? The answer is simple: the program is popular.
Since JUMP Bike’s introduction in May 2018, over 10,000 people have tried the program with the fleet averaging 1,000 rides a day.
City councilmember Steve Hansen described the programs popularity, stating, ”Within the first couple of months we more than doubled, I think even tripled, the ridership of San Francisco.”
And the city is meeting the extreme popularity and high demand with a steady increase in bikes, starting with a delivery of 200 more rental bikes to the Sacramento area over the weekend.
With another delivery of 200 bikes planned for both August and September, come autumn the City inventory should top out at 900 bikes and will make Sacramento’s one of the largest electric bike rental fleets in the country.
Once the full inventory is established, the bright red, basket wielding bikes should be available in abundance.
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How Does the JUMP Bike Program in Sacramento Work?
Interested in utilizing the Jump Bike program? The process is simple.
- Step 1: Get Started
- Download the JUMP Bikes – Bike Share app
- Sign up with a credit card number
- The app will assign you an ID number and you set a PIN
- Step 2: Locate and reserve a bike via the app
- Step 3: Unlock the bike by punching your PIN into the keypad
- Step 4: At your destination, lock the bike to a bike rack or designated JUMP Bike hub
Important Note: If you leave a bike outside of the service area outlined on the app map, your account will be charged a fee.
How Much Does Jump Bike Cost to Use?
The price for these rentals is part of the appeal, with low costs making the program widely accessible.
The first 15 minutes of your ride costs $1, with 7 cents added for each additional minute. That makes a one hour ride is just over $4.
Keep in mind: the moment you reserve your bike, the clock starts running.
JUMP Bike is also currently offering a monthly program where, for $30 a month, you can ride one hour a day. Excess of one hour adds a charge of 7 cents per minute.
There are also Student and Boost Plans available to those who qualify.
How Does a JUMP Bike Work?
Since it’s an electrical bike do you just hop on, push a button, and roll? Not exactly.
JUMP Bikes use e-assist electric motor technology to drive their bikes, meaning that every time you turn the pedal you boost the motor. And the harder you pedal the faster you go – up to 20 mph.
With this added boost comes added safety precautions. Riders should start slow to get the feel for the ride and brake early, gradually, and evenly – both brakes at the same time – when coming up to a stop.
Prior to each ride, JUMP recommends riders check that the bike’s:
- tires are inflated
- brakes work
- bell rings
- seat is adjusted to your height
- automatic lights are on (for night riding)
They also recommend that users:
- Plan routes ahead of time
- Ride with a helmet
- Obey traffic laws
- Pay attention and be aware
- Use hand signals
- Cross at rail crossings with care
- Are careful during implement weather
In addition to being a bright red color to help make bikes visible to drivers, JUMP Bikes also feature a skirt guard to keep clothes from getting caught up in the back tire. Not only does this help you ride safely, it also helps keep your clothes from getting dirty, which is a particularly helpful feature when using the bikes for a work commute.
Sacramento Makes Bicycle Safety a Priority
In addition to – and perhaps in preparation for – the JUMP Bike program, Sacramento is currently undergoing a big project to increase bicycle and pedestrian safety on one of the City’s business corridors: J Street.
Reducing the street from three lanes to two, the City is converting the third lane into a parking protected bikeway: a bike lane that is separated from moving traffic by a lane of parked cars. This project will also slow driver speeds and shorten pedestrian crossing times.
While the City has received a few complaints about JUMP Bikes being left on sidewalks or parked in a space designated for vehicles, overall the launch has been a great success. The majority of ‘complaints’ are really just a call for more bikes, which the city is answering.
In the words of Sacramento City Councilman Steve Hansen, “We are transforming our city into a bikeable, walkable urban center, a high-quality place to live and work. It's really another step in our city's evolution.”
Incorporating the JUMP Bike program, Sacramento is stepping into a cleaner and healthier future by working to alleviate traffic congestion while at the same time increasing community well-being.