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PEDAL POWER: HOUSTON'S BIKE SHARE PROGRAM IS EXPANDING THROUGHOUT THE LOOP AFTER EARLY SUCCESS

By: Whitney Radley
www.culturemap.com
(link to article ... link may expire over time)

July 31, 2012 -- Even with just three kiosks and a small fleet of 18 bicycles, the Houston B-cycle bike share program has met success since its official May launch.

The plan has always been to expand the program, and Laura Spanjian, Mayor Annise Parker's sustainability director, first alluded to a search for new locations in early June.

"We're going to have about 20 new kiosks and about 205 new bikes," Spanjian now tells CultureMap. That would bring the total to approximately 225 bicycles inside of the Loop.

Spanjian says that the expansion, which was made possible through grant funding, will bring B-cycle sites to high-density neighborhoods with big office buildings and apartment complexes.

Come October, expect to see another 10 downtown kiosks, plus a few each in Midtown, the Museum District and Montrose. A leftover kiosk may be granted to the burgeoning East End.

Along with a recently-received $15 million TIGER grant, which will help connect some of Houston's trail gaps, and an allocated $100 million (out of a $410 million bond package) for the Bayou Greenways Initiative set for the November ballot, Houston seems on the right track for greater bikeability.

Have you made use of the B-cycle program yet? The bikes are currently available at Market Square Park, City Hall and the George R. Brown Convention Center. A full day rental costs $5, a week-long pass runs $15 and an annual membership sets you back $50.

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