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Another dockless service comes to San Diego

New dockless e-bikes land in San Diego.
Photo credit:
Wheels

San Diego appears to be the city in which to launch dockless transportation e-services. Another such company, Wheels, dropped off 100 of their bikes in the Gaslamp last month and that number has recently grown to 500 after a successful test run. 

Founded by brothers Jonathan and Joshua Viner, Wheels sought out execs from Uber, Bird and Lyft to help launch the service and according to San Diego Union-Tribune have secured $37 million to extend the service to other big cities.

Units are heading to College Heights, Pacific Beach, and Seaport Village now, a representative said.

A little pricier than their competitors, the bikes are free to unlock, but cost 25 cents a minute, whereas Uber's bikes are $1 to activate and 10 cents a minute. 

Wheels also allows riders to pair their phones with a built-in Bluetooth speaker. 

But the main pitch to sway consumers to their brand is a better maintenance plan that will extend the life of the vehicles.

“When we evaluated this market, we identified a major opportunity to better serve cities with a sustainability-first approach to dockless electric mobility,” said Jonathan Viner. “We’ve spent countless research and development hours on new manufacturing and servicing models to afford first-ever offerings such as swappable part replacements and removable batteries.”

Wheels also maintain their bikes in-house and say their units have a lifespan four times longer than the competition.

The consumer demographic appears to be older than those who use the far-popular e-scooters; 30 percent of riders over 35 years old.

Wheels has a stockpile of new bikes stored in a warehouse awaiting release to the public. Although the brand is only available in San Diego for now, the company is planning to extend service to other Southern California locations and other states.