Gotcha likely to serve as bike share vendor for city, SU

City and Salisbury University officials are nearing a deal with Gotcha, a new bike share vendor, following the pullout last year of another company’s distinctive and popular orange bikes.

Fans of the old Spin service might see new turquoise-colored Gotcha electric assist bikes and electric scooters in some locations in September, said Mayor Jake Day. The rest will be in place by late September.

“It will roll out in two phases,” Day said.

The first batch could be in place in time for the National Folk Festival on Sept. 6-8.

The Gotcha bikes and scooters won’t be dockless like Spin, so riders will have to return them to a station, he said.

One of the Downtown racks will be in front of the Government Office Building on North Division Street, while others will be spread across the city, including on the SU campus and at private businesses. 

The company also plans to hire local people to help with operations, Day said.

Gotcha is a private business and no government funding is involved in the share program, but the city and SU have partnered to bring the service to Salisbury.

Riders can download the Gotcha app to rent either a bike or scooter. Day said the company will set its own rates which haven’t been made public yet. At Towson University – the only other Gotcha location in Maryland — the fee is $2 to unlock a bike and then 10 cents per minute after that, according to the company website.

Spin charged customers $1 — or 50 cents for SU students and staff — for a 30-minute ride. Regular customers could also pay a $14 monthly rate for unlimited rides. 

Gotcha has offices in Charleston, S.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco and Atlanta, but provides bikes and scooters in 29 states. The company also offers ride sharing and motorized trikes in some of its locations.

“We’re loyal to one mission: empowering people to lead better lives through sustainable shared mobility,” company officials said on the website.

Spin pulled its bicycles off the streets in the summer of 2018 after the company shifted to electric scooters.

While it was in town, Spin riders logged 15,000 rides, 6,000 unique riders and 16,000 miles ridden in the less than five months of operations, city officials said. 

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