Austin Seeks Funding To Expand Bikeshare

September 18, 2014 by Kate Harrington

Austin B-cycle, the city’s first bikeshare system, has had a phenomenal first year by any measure. Launched in December 2013, the organization broke North American bikeshare check-out records last March during SXSW, and passed the 100,000-ride mark this August. As is the case with all other bikeshare programs around the U.S., there have been no fatalities among riders. Austin B-cycle has also added capacity to existing stations and added new stations around the downtown area, bringing its station totals to 43. And now it could be poised to take another huge leap forward.

The City of Austin has applied to the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) for $4 million in federal transportation funds that would go toward Austin B-cycle. If approved, B-cycle says, those funds would triple the size of the existing system and bring B-cycle stations into new neighborhoods.

The CAMPO board is voting on the request, as well as other funding proposals, at its October 13 meeting. CAMPO is asking for public input through this survey (the bikeshare proposal is item LC-29).

The potential expansion takes place as Austin adds to its cycling infrastructure around the city. The just-completed Southern Walnut Creek Trail gives cyclists their own path to use, and the City’s Urban Trails Master Plan could add even more protected bike and pedestrian paths.

Do you use the B-Cycle bike sharing program? Where would you like to see additional bike sharing stations? Voice your opinion and leave your comments in the space below!

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Written by Kate Harrington

Kate is a former reporter, most recently for the Austin Business Journal, where she covered real estate, economic development and transportation. Since 2010 she has been running Thumbtack Communications. Thumbtack provides writing, editing and marketing services. Before moving to Austin in 2002 Kate lived in her native New England, which she still visits often to escape the Texas heat.