HOUSTON BIKE SHARE PROGRAM EXPANDS FLEET TO INCLUDE 21 B-CYCLE STATIONS
Bicycles Now Available in Downtown, East End, Midtown, Montrose and the Museum District / Hermann Park
April 3, 2013 -- Houston’s Bike Share Program is expanding. Thanks to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas’ (BCBSTX) $750,000 commitment, U.S. DOE funding, widespread use and increased interest, Houston B-cycle will continue to provide healthy and convenient transportation alternatives to residents throughout Downtown, East End, Midtown, Montrose and the Museum District/Hermann Park.
Houston B-Cycle is a bike share program that provides a quick transportation alternative for getting around the city. Whether grabbing coffee or commuting to work, Houston B-cycle sets you free from your car and relies on the best alternative fuel: YOU.
“Bike Share is a great new transportation program for Houston and with the support of BCBSTX and the DOE we are able to expand our pilot into a thriving program, providing a real commuter and recreational transportation option for workers, residents and visitors, improving health and quality of life,” said Mayor Annise Parker.
The pilot program began on May 2, 2012 with B-Cycle stations at City Hall, Market Square Park, and the George R. Brown Convention Center. With the completion of Phase II, bikes are now available at 18 new locations including four located along the METRORail:
Smith & Capitol
Lamar & Milam
Main & Dallas
La Branch & Lamar
McKinney & Caroline
UHD/Main & Franklin
Rusk & St. Emanuel
METRO Transit Center
Milam & Capitol
W. Gray & Baldwin
Westheimer & Waugh
MFAH/Fannin & Montrose
The self-service B-cycle stations will be available from 6 am to 11 pm every day. Bikes can be checked out during these hours and dropped back at the same location or any other B-cycle station.
In March of this year, Houston B-cycle joined 14 other US cities to “B-connected,” an annual membership initiative among the other B-cycle systems.Annual members in Houston traveling to specified B-cycle systems across the U.S. can use their annual membership to check out bikes in any of the participating cities including:
- Denver, CO
- Boulder, CO
- Madison, WI
- San Antonio, TX
- Spartanburg, SC
- Charlotte, NC
- Des Moines, IA
- Kansas City, MO
- Omaha, NE
- Nashville, TN
- Kailua, HI
- Broward County, FL.
- Fort Worth, TX (launching Spring)
- Salt Lake City, UT (launching Spring).
Part of the BCBSTX mission is to promote the health and wellness of Texas communities. The Houston Bike Share program is a perfect opportunity for Houstonians and visitors to Houston to have fun and take care of their families’ health at the same time.
“We are excited to partner with the Mayor and Houston B-cycle to continue transforming Houston into a healthier, more active and innovative city of the future,” says Bert Marshall, President, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas. “Supporting Houston B-cycle is part of our commitment to the Texas cities where we live, play and work. We hope this investment will help Houston children and families, not only find more convenient transportation, but get healthy and stay healthy through increased, fun physical activity.”
Phase III expansion discussions and planning include additional stations in downtown, Montrose and the East End, as well as the Texas Medical Center and local universities. New neighborhoods could be added as well.
Houston B-cycle is a membership driven bike share system. Memberships are available by day, week or year. All members have unlimited access to the bikes. The B-cycle Bikes are specially designed for all riders - short or tall, thanks to an easy-to-use adjustable seat post. Fenders, skirt guards and chain guards keep clothes clean. Automatic lights help keep riders visible and safe. All bikes are equipped with a lock and basket. Riders can take the bike anywhere and lock it up, even if no kiosk is available.
All are equipped with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and GPS technology, the most advanced bike share system available in the U.S. Annual and weekly members can track their mileage, calories burned and fuel savings through the website www.houston.bcycle.com.
Houston’s program is managed and operated by Houston Bike Share, a non-profit whose mission is to implement, expand and operate a Houston-based bike share program that will be environmentally friendly, financially sustainable and affordable. Bike Barn will assist with maintenance for the B-cycle stations and bikes. The Houston B-cycle Phase I program is being funded through the US EPA’s Climate Showcase grant. Phase II and III expansion will be funded through the generous sponsorship of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas and the U.S. DOE’s ARRA stimulus dollars. Additional support comes from Bike Houston; Bike Barn; Downtown District; Houston First; the City of Houston Office of Sustainability and the Houston Parks and Recreation Department. For more information, memberships and maps, visit www.houston.bcycle.com or call 713.865.3662.