How to extend your bike share rental and avoid usage fees with the help of Spotcycle

It’s no secret that using bike share to get around town helps you save time and money — they’re designed for short-term trips and ease of use.

If you’re a casual user though, your free trips might be limited to 30 minutes or less; any ride longer than 30 minutes starts incurring usage fees (but you should check with your local bike share provider for precise details).

But what happens when your destination takes just a little longer than the free minutes to get to by bike? Return the bike to a dock before your free minutes are up and walk the rest of the way? Or bite the bullet and pay the fees?

Here’s where Spotcycle comes in: avoid additional bike share fees by dock-surfing to your destination. Dock-surfing (or sometimes called daisy-chaining) is just splitting up your bike trip into smaller trips so that each smaller trip you take is always within the free minutes of your rental.

Here’s how to do it:

Dock-surfing with Spotcycle

How to extend your bike share rental by dock-surfing with Spotcycle

  1. Plan your bike journey using Spotcycle to help you locate stations along the way.
  2. Set the timer on Spotcycle to your limit for a free trip (usually 30 minutes, but check with your bike share scheme provider). Make sure the Alarm setting is enabled on the Spotcycle rental timer to tell you when the rental is up.
  3. Start your bike share ride.
  4. Ride for the duration of your free trip (use the rental timer built into Spotcycle to warn you in advance), and return the bike to a dock (even if you haven’t made it to your destination).
  5. Wait a bit for your next available free rental trip (usually about 5 minutes).
  6. Once ready, take out another (or the same) bike and continue on your journey.
  7. Dock your bike (repeat many times as you need to get to your final destination) and you’re done — without a usage fee in sight!

Dock-surfing works great for those who aren’t in a hurry (as there obviously is some waiting involved); the best part is you won’t be billed extra fees!

Note that if the docks are full at the station where you want to return the bike, you can always find the closest available docks at the terminal if your bike share system supports this feature; you’ll get a few extra minutes on your rental to bike there. You might also be able to phone the bike share provider to let them know you need an extension to locate an available bike dock.

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