Ridesharing has increased in popularity with more than 25 percent of Americans saying they use ride-hailing apps. Now, bike share programs are also growing in popularity. If you’re looking to explore a new town or simply enjoy your local city from a new perspective, you can “borrow” a bicycle to use for a short while and then return it whenever you’re done with it. There’s a variety of bike share options – from coin deposit to automated stations. Phoenix bike share has three options are helping riders gear up.
About Phoenix Bike Share
GR:D bikes, LIMEbike, and PACE Bikes are the only bike sharing operators permitted in the city of Phoenix as of the date of this writing. According to the City of Phoenix, the average bike share user takes up to three trips, travels about a mile and spends about 13 minutes per trip.
Depending on the program, users have a “docked” or “dockless” option. When a user opts for a “docked” program, it means they must return the bike to a docking station belonging to the same vendor. A dockless program means that when a rider is done using their bicycle, they can leave it at a suitable location without having to place it at a docking station. LIMEBike and PACE are both dockless in Phoenix. Currently, each vendor can have up to 500 bikes for sharing, which means locals and visitors have a variety of bike sharing options.
But with every new trend comes risks. If you’re considering using a bike share program, be sure you understand your legal rights and the requirements of the vendors before you decide to use it.
Phoenix Bike Share Vendor Requirements
Phoenix bike share vendors are regulated by the city and must apply for a permit to operate within city limits. During the permitting process, vendors must provide insurance, security bond and safety awareness to its users. They must also follow all local, state and federal laws.
Each Bike Share company is responsible for operating and repairing their own fleet. Each bike share program uses GPS tracking to identify the location of each bike.
Lastly, vendors are also required to respond to urgent calls from business and property owners when bikes are illegally parked – such as blocking a sidewalk, parked in pedestrian zones or blocking transit zones, such as bus stops or shelters.
While vendors bear much of the responsibility, users must also abide by the bike share agreement.
Reading the Bike Share Agreement
While each vendor asserts that you’re sharing a bike, in reality, you’re renting it. Just as you would with a rental car, you need to review and accept the rental agreement and liability, waiver, and release from the vendor you’re renting from. Most bike share vendors require you to waive your right to a jury trial and agree to arbitration only. This is true of all three bike share programs in Phoenix.
Under an arbitration agreement, both parties must settle a dispute out of court. Both PACE and LIMEBike take it a step further and require any claims brought against the vendor to be filed individually and cannot be part of a class action claim.
Each user agreement is unique but for the most part, they cover information on using the equipment, fees, the assumption of liability, and more.
It’s important to reach these agreements carefully. For example, LIMEBike requires that accidents, damage, stolen, or lost property are reported as soon as possible and that a police report is filed within 24 hours of the incident. PACE has a social media policy about engaging with the company’s platforms.
Reading these agreements can sometimes be confusing bub, they’ll provide insight into your legal rights should something happen while you’re using a shared bike.
Phoenix Bike Share Accident Compensation for Your Losses
When you’re riding a bike, you’re already at an increased risk of being injured. Minor scrapes, cuts or bruises can happen when you’re riding or if you lose your balance. However, severe injuries can happen if you’re involved in an accident.
Most bicycle injuries are covered under your auto insurance policy. If you’re unsure of whether your insurer covers accidents while using a shared bike, reach out to them before signing the bike share vendor’s user agreement. Additionally, if you are injured by another driver, your injuries may be covered by insurance – whether yours or the person at fault. However, you’ll need to make sure this accident is reported immediately after the wreck.
If you’re involved in a hit-and-run, be sure to report it just as you would with any other accident. If you’re injured, get medical attention. If you plan to use a bike share vendor, make sure you have a customer service or emergency line on hand in case you need to report an accident.
The rules for bike sharing are being made up as we go. And having the right attorney to fight for you is important. Regardless of your agreement, if you’ve been injured in a bike share accident, contact your attorney immediately.