The City of Providence has become the latest city to establish a bicycle share program. The program offers reduced cost bicycle rentals to PHA residents throughout the City and adds a much needed new resource to the transportation landscape for low-income workers. On September 6th, the bright red JUMP bikes, 400 in total, finally reached the streets of Providence to provide a new, exciting, affordable method of transportation to local residents.
Read Mayor Elorza and Uber’s formal announcement of the initiative here.
WHAT IS JUMP?
JUMP creates electric bikes and scooters (available at 40 locations across the City’s Upper and Lower South Providence, Elmwood, West End, Federal Hill, Valley and Smith Hill neighborhoods reaching many PHA residents) that have an electric motor to make uphill climbs easier for their rider. Each bike is equipped with GPS, a lock, and electric motor to make pedaling around the City easier. With a full charge, JUMP bikes are expected to travel 30-40 miles and can reach speeds of up to 20 miles per hour.
In 2018, JUMP partnered with Uber and was eventually fully integrated into the Uber system. To use the program, you can either download the Uber app and select “Bike” in the menu or download the JUMP Bikes app and create an account. You reserve a bike through the app and unlock the bike with a 4 digit pin number. When you are done riding, you lock the bike to a bike rack in a JUMP designated area to complete the transaction.
In order to make sure bike share is open to all who would like to use the system, JUMP has partnered with the City of Providence to offer a reduced rate membership under their Boost program. With the Boost Plan, PHA residents are eligible for bike share memberships of just $5 per year for their first year. That rate includes a full hour of riding per day and only $.07/minute after that. After the first year, the cost changes to $5 per month. Those eligible for the Boost Program include not only PHA residents but those currently enrolled in the following programs: RIPTA Reduced Fare Bus Pass, SNAP, WIC, RIWorks, or members of a household receiving free or reduced price school lunches through the RI Department of Education (RIDE).
To enroll, residents need to email a scanned or photographed copy of their program documents (such as a PHA identification card or EBT through SNAP) to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: “Providence Boost Documentation”. A JUMP representative will then reply with next steps.
More information about the BOOST Program is available on JUMP’s website at https://jumpbikes.com/cities/providence/boost-plan/.
USING JUMP SAFELY
The e-bikes utilized by JUMP provide a fast, reliable source of transportation around the City. You still have to pedal but the electronic motor assists on large hills and in areas where pedaling alone just isn’t enough. Just like any vehicle, there are some inherent dangers to riding a JUMP bike. Here are a few tips to assist you in safely operate your JUMP ride:
- Wear a helmet – bikes can reach up to 20 miles per hour, so riders are encouraged to wear a helmet. Riders must bring their own helmet when they ride. Riders under the age of 15 are required by law to wear a protective helmet while operating a bicycle – whether through JUMP or otherwise. JUMP offers discounted prices on the purchase of a helmet through the app or you can shop your own based on your budget and needs.
- Inspect the bike first – before unlocking your reserved bike, inspect the tires to make sure they are inflated. When you hop on, test the brakes to make sure they are working properly. Finally, adjust the seat height to ensure a comfortable and safe ride.
- Follow traffic law – Providence is bike-friendly with on-road bike lanes and off-road paths throughout the City. Because of these designated areas, it may be easy to forget but basic traffic laws – such as stopping at red lights and stop signs or riding in the direction of traffic – should not be ignored. General Bicycle Laws and Bike Lane Laws for Rhode Island can be found on the RI Department of Transportation’s website.
WHERE TO FIND A JUMP BIKE
JUMP Bikes are scattered throughout the City and are conveniently located near many of the PHA public housing developments as well as neighborhoods where a majority of PHA Section 8 residents live. A map of locations is available at https://jumpbikes.com/cities/providence/.
SMART CYCLE CLASS
On Thursday, October 25th from 6-7:30pm, the City of Providence, Lifespan, Rhode Island Bicycle Coalition, Tufts Health Plan, and JUMP Bikes will offer a JUMP Smart Cycling Class. The class will offer hands-on tips for how to comfortably and safely ride on the JUMP bikes. The event will be held at the Lifespan Community Health Institute, 335r Prairie Ave. Suite 2B, Providence, RI 02905.
You can also enroll in the BOOST program at the event. Bring a 1/ credit or debit card (cost of the program is $5 for the first year for 60 minutes of daily ride time) and 2/ documentation that you are a PHA resident or are involved in one of the other programs mentioned above.
This event is free and open to the public, but participants are asked to RSVP in advance at t.uber.com/smart-cycling.