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Coronado to begin impounding dockless bikes, fining companies

Posted: 6:40 PM, Mar 20, 2018
Updated: 2018-03-21 01:54:45Z

CORONADO, Calif. (KGTV) - Coronado city leaders will begin cracking down on the dockless bicycle trend rolling around San Diego, imposing fines and impounding bikes left on the island.

City leaders have moved to declare the transportation alternative a public nuisance and will start impounding bikes left in the city. Coronado has banned bike-sharing companies from setting up shop on the island, but riders are allowed to pick them up and ride them into the city.

Therein lies Coronado's problem. Much like the trend around San Diego, Coronado residents have grown concerned with bikes being left on sidewalks and in the right-of-way.

Ken Hewitt is one of several local bike shop owners who fought to keep the bikes off the island. 

"Every bike you see going by there is a potential rental," he said. "We're a small island here.  San Diego's got a lot more real estate and a lot more spaces."

So, now the city plans to tag any bikes left in the public-right-of-way, remove them, and charge the companies $40-$50 to pick them up. 

The bikes are GPS-enabled, so the city and residents say the companies should know exactly where to find them.
 
"Come get your bikes.  Go put them somewhere else," Hewitt said.

In a statement, LimeBike said, "We have, and will continue, to conduct a comprehensive outreach program to ensure we're addressing any challenges and best serving the needs of the community."

Ofo also responded, "We appreciate the City of Coronado's concerns and have already suggested ways in which we can more closely collaborate without requiring the use of public resources.  We look forward to continuing to work together."

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Bike-sharing companies would be charged $40 to $50 to recover a bike left on the island. The crackdown could begin as soon as tomorrow.

The crackdown comes about a month after an increase in dockless bike offerings within the county.

So far, at least five dockless transportation companies have started offering bikes or scooters in San Diego: Ofo, LimeBike, MoBike, DecoBike, and Bird.