PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – Kellye Tallent spends her days trying to make sure LimeBike bicycles near Dallas’ White Rock Lake look like an asset and not like an eyesore.
“Neatly lined up in a row, easily accessible for the consumer, obviously out of the way of the parking lot,” she ticks off the goals, inspecting several bikes positioned near a trail.
Tallent is one of 50 “field operation specialists” that LimeBike uses to maintain a fleet of 10,000 bikes. It’s a job that can take her off the beaten path — way off.
“We are hunting for a bike that has been dumped in the woods,” she explained to a CBS 11 News crew following her down a path lined with overgrown brush.
Once the company’s GPS app showed she was close enough, Tallent activated a feature prompting the bicycle to play a tune. “There you go!” she said, locating the music and the discarded bike.
“It basically is an adult scavenger hunt,” she explained.
With five new bike share companies in Dallas, the sudden flood of bikes, sometimes cluttering walkways or dropped in creeks, have prompted complaints that nearby suburbs like Plano want to avoid.
“I think that’s exactly what we’re reacting to,” said Peter Braster, with the City of Plano.
In two weeks the Plano City Council is set to vote to implement new rules over the industry, making it the first city in North Texas to try to regulate the industry. Bike share companies would be required to register with the city, which would set expectations for them to meet.
“What kind of bikes they can have, where they can park their bicycles initially… how quickly they’ll have to pick up bicycles that are parked poorly or in the way,” explained Braster.
He says neighboring suburbs have reached out and are curious to learn Plano’s plans. “Richardson, Carrollton, The Colony… all those cities are gonna watch what’s happening here,” said Braster.
LimeBike said it’s in favor of regulation and has suggested a few rules itself. The company is now working to double the number of employees like Talent who will be working to keep the bikes organized and orderly.