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JTA Ranks Its Top 3 Vendor Choices For New Bike Share Program

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority has ranked its top three choices to implement a new bicycle  sharing program in the city's urban core.

JTA's choices in order of preference are:

  1. VeoRide, Inc.
  2. Neutron Holdings dba Lime Inc.
  3. Gotcha Bike, LLC

The shortlist will be presented to the JTA board on Thursday.  JTA is in what it calls a “cone of silence” period and wouldn’t publically comment on the three finalists.
In a letter sent to each of them and requested by WJCT News, JTA wrote:

“It is the intent of the JTA to negotiate with the No. 1 ranked firm. If the JTA is not able to negotiate a contract with the highest ranked proposer, the Authority may enter into negotiations with the second and third ranked Proposers respectively.”

JTA is looking to enter a five-year contract and wants its bike share vendor to include GPS tracking of the bicycles to determine where the bikes are going, the frequency of use and a wireless tracking system that locates where a bike is picked up and returned.

JTA provided a map to the vendors for the general area where it wants to start offering bike share:

This JTA map was given to each bike share vendor to illustrate the approximate area that JTA wants to start with for its bike share program.

The map area provided to the vendors closely corresponds with the Skyway monorail system’s footprint.

VeoRide, JTA’s top-ranked vendor, has offices in Chicago and West Lafayette, Indiana, and says it operates about 20 programs nationwide in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Texas.

In addition to bicycles, VeoRide also offers electric bicycles and electric scooters, although JTA's proposal doesn't request electric powered options. It does state, however:

"The System Operator shall define sustainability practices (i.e. solar powered charging for electric bikes if applicable.)"

Neutron Holdings dba Lime Inc. is better known publically as Lime and has quickly gained traction in many U.S. cities for its bright green electric-assist scooters and ebikes, as well as traditional bicycles.

The third-ranked vendor, Gotcha Bike, LLC, says it is coming soon to St. Augustine and also has agreements with Florida State University, Fort Lauderdale, the University of Florida and Sarasota Ride Share. 

All three vendors offer bicycle sharing apps for Android and Apple smartphones, although the city's request for proposal doesn’t specifically indicate that as a requirement or say whether the chosen vendor would need to integrate its app with JTA’s app.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.

Bill joined WJCT News in September of 2017 from The Florida Times-Union, where he served in a variety of multimedia journalism positions.