College Station looking for solutions for managing Ofo Bikes
Bright yellow Ofo Bikes seem to be everywhere.
"With this initial roll out, we've had some citizen feedback of bikes being parked improperly and not in great locations and with the additional bikes being added, we foresee that issue potentially growing," said Aubrey Nettles.
Nettles is responsible for researching different options for the College Station city council and presenting her findings next month. Nearly 900 bikes were added to the Texas A&M campus this year. Some found bike racks, while others found sidewalks and parking lots.
With the number of bikes surpassing 3000 this fall, the City of College Station is taking a proactive approach.
"Bike sharing is a fantastic way of solving some of those congestion issues, and at this point, we just want to make sure that this program is safe and responsible," Nettles said.
College Station is researching what cities like Austin and Dallas have done in safely regulating bike sharing programs, such as holding companies accountable and charging a removal fee or impounding bikes that are parked improperly.
"Clearly we have to think about how we regulate them within the city as they will become some kind of public safety issue or a nuisance to say the least," said College Station City Councilman John Nichols.
The City is not against Ofo or any bike sharing program. In fact, it welcomes any way to help people get around. But only if its done right.
"I applaud the effort of finding another means of transportation for students. However, I do think when it begins to cause a public safety problem for the city off the campus, then I do think the city needs to take responsibility for regulating it."