Spin Dockless Bikeshare in Koreatown

Residents of Koreatown should be noticing these orange bikes parked near the Metro stations and elsewhere. These orange bikes are the Spin dockless bikeshare. According to their

website, "Spin is North America's leading stationless bikeshare company. We are transforming cities and campuses by offering an accessible, affordable, and environmentally-friendly form of personal mobility."

The bikes work by downloading an app and using your phone to unlock the bikes. It's $1 for each 30min, but when I tried it, I received a $5 credit as a new user.

If you live in Koreatown, the bikes are great for quick errands. Driving is a hassle, walking is fine, but takes longer and the subway only runs down Wilshire. The Vermont Redline takes you out of Koreatown.

Metro bikeshare still has yet to roll out in K-town, and who knows when it will. Too much politics involved with that program. In the meantime, Spin is a great way to get around.

A few downsides to Spin though. Their app is glitchy. If you ride from Koreatown to DTLA, you won't be able to unlock your bike, because the app (which uses the GPS on your phone to locate you) will say you are not in a city Spin is currently operating in (see photo below). So, you have to contact them to remotely unlock the bike. Also, trying to unlock a bike at night is challenging. In order to unlock your bike, the camera on your phone needs to scan the QR on the bike. Without the flash on your camera, your phone can't seem to read the QR. With the flash, it scans it, but you get an error message. And, after several tries, I was finally able to unlock the bike.

But when I tried to use a bike at night, the lights did not work. Definitely not a good idea to ride at night without lights.

The bikes themselves are great. They are lighter than any city run bikeshares I have used. The bikes have the standard 3 speeds with a basket attached to the handlebar. It looks like they have a thin solar panel on the basket which I assume is supposed to power the bike lights.

All-in-all, I would say Spin is an asset to this neighborhood. I wish they had more bikes and would improve on their app. Hopefully, Spin or any other bikeshare system will continue to grow in Koreatown. Living in a neighborhood with multi-modal transportation makes life more enjoyable. It also enhances the neighborhood and in my opinion improves property value.

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