Good news for Austinites fed up with waiting for big transportation fixes: starting this December, the city is getting at least a little more mobility in the form of a bike share program.
Austinites were asked to vote this summer on where the new bike share locations should be, and more than 9,000 people weighed in. Voting on those locations has now closed, and the first stations are set to open in December. Austin’s bike share will launch with 100 bikes and 10 downtown stations, with plans to expand up to 400 bikes and 40 stations by spring of 2014.
Bike sharing has taken off in cities including New York City, Chicago and Denver; it’s environmentally friendly, good exercise and affordable. Bike Share of Austin, the nonprofit that is running the program, hasn’t yet said what the rates for Austin program will be. But the organization has pointed potential users curious about cost to B-Cycle, a bike sharing program in other cities. B-Cycle gives riders options ranging from a $8 day pass to an $80 annual pass.
Bike share programs in other cities have had a pretty big impact: in Denver, 43 percent of B-Cycle users said they replaced car trips with bike rides and in Paris, the bike sharing program Velib reduced Paris traffic by 5 percent in its first year.
Will you use Austin’s new Bike Share program? Leave a comment below!