Bike Share Permit

Bike Share Permit Process

The City of Durham has developed a permit process for bike share operation in the public way. The new regulations apply to bike share rental companies that wish to operate a bike share by leaving bikes for rental on City-maintained, public rights-of-way, City sidewalks, public alleys, and/or pedestrian ways. The regulations are not applicable to private property in Durham. A permit does not grant exclusive rights to operate a bike share system in the public way.

Interested bike share operators are encouraged to download the permit and appropriate attachment(s). 

For questions about the permit process, please contact Bryan Poole at

What is Bike Share?

Many cities have bike share systems, such as New York, DC,  Atlanta, Nashville, and many more. Most of these cities have used a smart dock system, where people find bikes at a dock, and check them out by becoming annual or daily members, usually paying between $8 for a day, or $80 for a year. Members typically ride free for the first 30 minutes. Greensboro and Seattle are trying a new type of smart bike system, where each bike has “smart” technology and a locking mechanism -  the bikes do not need to be picked up or left at a dock.  The bikes can be found using an app, and when the person is done, locked up anywhere. Anyone can ride the bikes and you pay per ride, usually $1 for 30 minutes. As opposed to dock stations, these dockless systems do not require a substantial upfront investment by the City.

The City's permit regulations will help regulate dockless bike share operations in Durham. Bike share operators are for-profit companies that have been granted a permit by the City. If the company(ies) fail to comply with the terms of the permit, it can be revoked.