After a five-year run, the largest bicycle share program in New Jersey is being terminated in Hudson County. P3 Global Management’s Mike Finelli, the Director of Operations, announced that the volume of resources needed for successful operation make it “impossible” to continue the program. JerseyBike pass usage is valid until October 9, 2020, after which it will no longer be operational in Hoboken, Weehawken, North Bergen or Port Imperial. City officials are still discussing exit details for Guttenberg, Bayonne and West New York.
Since its October 2015 launch under the name Hudson Bike Share, JerseyBike has provided over 770,000 rides to users in Hoboken, Bayonne, North Bergen, Guttenberg, Weehawken, West New York and Port Imperial. The program also rolled out bikes into Jersey City’s Liberty State Park as part of a two-year pilot that expired in April 2020.
JerseyBike’s establishment as the dominant bike share service in Hudson County was a long fought battle. Though several cities initially had plans for Hudson Bike Share, rollout delays resulted in Weehawken’s complete withdrawal and Jersey City’s alignment with CitiBike. Jersey City and Hoboken struggled in particular with this bike feud; the use of two separate platforms within such a small, shared geographic location made bicycle sharing overly complicated for their constituents. But as tensions cooled and Hudson Bike Share continued to expand into neighboring municipalities, the cities were eventually able to move towards a middle ground.
Despite JerseyBike’s impending departure, Finelli leaves Hudson County riders on an optimistic note: “the number of trips that our customers have completed since 2015 is encouraging for the future of mobility in Hudson County and beyond,” he says.
Many riders have reason to believe that their bike sharing access will only improve in the months to come, as CitiBike – the program currently utilized by New York City – has presented Jersey City and Hoboken with a five-year contract. The expansion of CitiBike into Hoboken will allow subscribers to ride the bicycles between the two cities, and also let them borrow bicycles in New York City without having to pay and additional fee. However, at this point it is unclear if the other towns who participated in JerseyBike are looking to join the CitiBike program. If they don’t, residents in the other Hudson County towns will have no bike share at all.