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  • Amy Mendillo for East Side Monthly

JUMP Bikes Welcomed in Fox Point

In early Fall 2018, the City of Providence placed 400 JUMP bicycles all over the city, with several hubs in Fox Point. The rental bikes operate with conventional pedaling or with so-called pedal-assist technology—an experience that, according to JUMP, feels like riding a regular bike “but with super powers.” With a few taps on a smartphone, a rider can locate a bike, unlock it, and pay for use—and when finished, lock the bike at a JUMP stand or at any public bike rack. This hub-based system “provides the best of both worlds,” commented Martina Haggerty, Associate Director of Special Projects for the City of Providence Department of Planning and Development, since it offers flexibility without compromising predictability. “We are thrilled to partner with JUMP,” she added, “to give Providence residents and visitors a fun, sustainable way to get around Providence.”

Fox Point neighbors have largely welcomed the bikes. One resident tested the bikes in early October on a family jaunt from Wayland Square to Seven Stars bakery on Hope Street. “They’re fun,” she reported, noting that the motorized assistance kicked just when she wanted it. Another neighbor appreciated the convenience of the pedal-assist technology in certain areas of the East Side. “It’s a great idea for a town with hills,” he commented.

Complaints relate more to the placement of the bike stands in the neighborhood than to the existence of the bikes, themselves. One Fox Point neighbor objected to the prominence of the stands in George M. Cohan Square, on Wickenden Street near Vartan Gregorian School, where the widely spaced structures break up the open space used for congregating and in recent summers, used for seating for the Fox Point Folk Fest. "The whole an eyesore," he commented, adding that the arrangement of the stands “annexes the local plaza.” Overall, however, the City has received positive feedback about the program. “Many people have experienced bike share programs in other cities,” noted Haggerty, “and are excited that we have brought this transportation option to Providence.” For more information on the bikes, see the JUMP-Providence site, here.

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