Dockless bike stations are popping up everywhere.
Nothing is more frustrating than trying to return your Capital Bikeshare to a full docking station. With "Mobike," your frustration is no more.
Meet Mobike -- the new app taking over the D.C. area. Already operating in major countries around the world -- including the United Kingdom and China -- the company's "dockless" stations are popping up around the 14th Street area.
So here's how it works: In order to use a bike, you need to download the Mobike app and then unlock the bike by scanning a barcode on the bike itself. You pay by the minute, and unlike Capital Bikeshare, there's no membership fee. You can park your bike anywhere -- there's no need to dock it, saving you time from having to find a docking station that may or may not be filled. Even better, you can park your bike at your actual destination instead of only being able to go halfway, or as far as the closest docking station.
This seems too good to be true. What are the drawbacks?
There are many startup companies like Mobike in other parts of the country. One of the primary concerns that face those companies include the piling up of bikes -- some of which are just abandoned -- which is a less-than-appealing look. This is definitely a concern near Metro stations as well.
Other concerns range from who will regulate and inspect the bikes to whether the bikes are actually sturdy and will keep up through the wear and tear. Other than that, there don't seem to be too many issues with Mobike so far, but again, it has only just come to D.C.
More bikes will pop up in different locations around the DMV throughout the year, so keep your eye open on the Mobike app for more locations. With over 100,000 bikes across the world so far, this company does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon. For more information on Mobike, check out their website here
What do you think? Will this be a better option that using Capital Bikeshare? Tell us what you think in the comments below!