Zagster, an operator of old-style docked bike services, is unveiling Pace, a new brand for a modern bike-sharing service that offers what it calls a smarter way to share bikes.

Rivals such as LimeBike, Spin, and Cycle Hop have moved into the U.S. market more quickly, but Zagster hopes to offer the benefits of “dockless” bike sharing while adding a simple innovation: You have to lock the bike to something.

Like other bike-sharing services, you can use your mobile phone to sign up for the service and then use it to unlock a bike. You can ride the bike around for a fee and then leave it wherever you want, rather than having to return it to a dock, as many earlier sharing services required. But while this is convenient for the rider, it has resulted in a lot of bike litter, with bikes left scattered in places where they don’t belong.

This problem is not unique to Zagster, of course. My kid saw a LimeBike in a lake in Seattle, thanks to some pranksters. Zagster’s Pace service, however, has a two-point security system that requires bikes to be locked to fixed objects, not just themselves. This mitigates theft and abuse and makes sure the discarded bikes don’t block public paths or roads. You can also return the bike to a dock, as Zagster has operated big networks of docked bikes in the past and places bike racks in key areas to maximize ridership.

Pace will debut in Tallahassee, Florida; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Rochester, New York; Knoxville, Tennessee; and Huntsville, Alabama. Each launch will happen before April 1, 2018.

With Pace, you download a free app on the App Store or Google Play. You…

Continue ….