|Receive, consider and act upon the updates to bike share program;
|At the September 2017 Visit The Woodlands Board of Directors' meeting, staff presented information regarding a potential bike share program within The Woodlands. Visit The Woodlands promotes biking throughout its advertising and marketing efforts and a bike share program is a needed service for visitors.
The Board of Directors requested working with The Woodlands Township Parks & Recreation Department and the Howard Hughes Corporation (HHC) to fulfill this project.
The Woodlands Township Board of Directors approved an agreement with MoBike and the Visit The Woodlands team assisted with the launch of the program on Friday, January 5, 2018. The team will be continuously promoting the merits of the program in visitor advertising and promotion and through all hotel properties.
Here's more information regarding MoBike from a news release:
Mobike Given Green Light to Ride into The Woodlands, Will be the First Dockless Bike-Share Program in the Houston region.
Mobike, the world’s largest smart-bikeshare platform today announced its plans to launch operations in The Woodlands following the unanimous approval of an exclusive memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the company and The Woodlands Township. The launch – planned collaboratively with Township leaders and planners – is planned for early January and will be Houston Metro’s first dockless bikeshare program.
The Woodlands Township Chairman of the Board Gordy Bunch said a bike share program makes great sense for The Woodlands. “The Woodlands is a health conscience community and features many great outdoor activities for fitness with over 200 miles of pathways and over 130 parks,” he said. “There are so many great places to see and visit by bicycle. We’re pleased Mobike wants to launch its first concept in Texas right here in The Woodlands.”
Using custom designed bikes equipped with GPS and smart-lock technology, Mobike enables users to find a bike nearby, reserve and unlock it, all using an app on their smartphone. After reaching their destination within The Woodlands Township Town Center limits, users manually lock the bike, which automatically makes the bike available to the next rider.
Bruce Rieser, Chairman of Visit The Woodlands, said the tourism entity has been looking for a good solution as it promotes the great outdoors. “Our tourists and meeting planners consistently talk about the great trails and pedestrian friendly downtown area found in The Woodlands,” he said. “Our hotel guests and visitors will now be able to rent a bicycle at a very low cost and discover this great destination.”
The collaboration was led by Houston native Lance Li, now a Launcher for Mobike, and John Powers, the Assistant General Manager, Community Services for The Woodlands Township.
“We have been working for seven years to bring bikesharing to The Woodlands, and it was worth the wait,” said Powers. “By introducing Mobike into the community, residents and visitors have access to cutting edge technology as well as a convenient and affordable way to get some exercise and explore the community. The best part is that it doesn’t cost the Township a dime.”
The bikes are powered by unique high-tech features including non-puncture airless tires, bike status sensors and built-in GPS locators. Changes were made to the bike to specifically serve the U.S. market, including the shape of the bike itself and the addition of three gears.
“The Woodlands has always been a leader in smart city infrastructure projects that heighten our quality of life, so it’s only natural that dockless bike sharing would thrive here,” said Li. “I am so proud to bring a technology that I am deeply passionate about home to the Houston Area.
“We are happy to call The Woodlands Township home and look forward to working with more jurisdictions across Houston in the coming months,” said Jason Wong, U.S. General Manager for Mobike. “I want to thank The Woodllands Township Board of Directors and everyone involved with the planning process for accepting us with open arms as we strive to make cycling the most convenient, affordable, and environmentally friendly transportation option for residents and visitors alike.”
Just this week Mobike was just honored as a "Champion of the Earth" by the UN. The Champions of the Earth award is the UN’s highest environmental honor; it celebrates outstanding figures from the public and private sectors whose actions have had a transformative, positive impact on the environment. The award is in recognition of the company’s transformative contribution to the advancement of low carbon public transport.
HOW MOBIKE WORKS
Mobike is a re-imagination and delivery of the ultimate urban bicycle with innovations such as non-puncture airless tires, a lightweight aluminum anti-rust frame, an enhanced and durable disk-brakes and an auto-inspired five-spoke wheel. These functional design elements result in a nearly maintenance-free bike. Each bicycle is connected to the Mobike network through GPS-embedded smart locks; forming one of the largest Internet of Things (IoT) networks on the globe.
The Mobike mobile app is available for download at the Android store and Apple app store.
|To be determined by Board of Directors.