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Austin B-cycle Hits 50,000th Trip, Plans Expansion

by: Joe Deshotel

Wed May 14, 2014 at 01:31 PM CDT

With Its ubiquitous presence on downtown streets, it's hard to believe that the bike share program B-cycle has only been operating in Austin for 4 months. The December launch was highly anticipated and the company reports it has clocked over 87,000 miles in over 50,000 trips.

Austin B-cycle also conducted a telephone survey and found that their service is responsible for replacing over 10,000 car trips and introducing or reintroducing cycling to almost 7,000 people.

That is all great news for the company but with increasing traffic issues it is also great news for commuters and the City of Austin -- especially since the survey also found that almost half of users are more likely to now use transit since using B-cycle.

See where B-cycle plans to expand below the jump...

During the 10 day period that covers the SXSW festival B-cycle broke the national record for usage previously held by NYC -- over 17,000 checkouts totaling over 22,000 miles traveled. That stat highlights the need for additional options more broadly for moving people around our increasingly congested city, particularly in the central business district.

To that point it was the Convention Center station that saw the most checkouts with 1,838, followed by Rainey Street with 1,042 during SXSW and that helps explain why those two locations will be receiving additional stations in B-cycle's upcoming expansion. It will also include two additional locations, one on restaurant row on Barton Brings, and another on South Lamar near Barton Springs.

Bike Share of Austin is the Non-Prifit that runs the program locally which received a $1.5 million federal grant and $500,000 in private donations to get the program up and running. A day pass will run you 8 bucks with the first 30 minutes free and a $4 per half hour usage fee after that. For locals the best deal is the $80 annual pass (usage fees still apply). Bike sharing is mainly suited for short trips and the idea is to have the capacity that will allow riders to have a station near their destination to stop the clock on usage fees and to keep the bikes in rotation.

Bike share has been a great addition to the suite of expanding options for folks trying to move about Austin, and who knows, maybe Transportation Network Companies could be next? (For those not in the know, TNC is the wonky acronym used by policy makers to describe services like Lyft, Uber and Sidecar that often referred to as "rideshare".)

You can find out more about Austin B-cycle at their website.

You can follow me on Twitter at @joethepleb.

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