Boulder firms aid Denver’s new B-Cycle system
Boulder Reporter | Apr 24, 2010
Denver B-cycle launched April 22, Earth Day, as the nation’s first large-scale citywide bicycle sharing program. Designed to help Denver residents and visitors increase their daily activity, save money and reduce carbon emissions, Denver B-cycle offers the first U.S. public bike sharing system as an alternative to using cars for short commutes and errands.
B-cycle was formed by a partnership between Humana, Trek Bicycle and Crispin Porter + Bogusky, the advertising and marketing firm that is based in Boulder and Miami. Another Boulder connection is that Boulder-based Amadeus Consulting, a custom software development company, created the enterprise application system automating B-cycle. Amadeus developed B-cycle’s kiosk interface, customer Web services, Web-based administrative tool and iPhone application.
Popularized in Europe and Asia where there are more than 50 cities with a public bike sharing system, Denver follows on the heels of two other cities in North America that have launched successful bike sharing systems in the past year – Montreal in the summer of 2009 and Mexico City in the spring of 2010.
“Coloradans embrace healthy and sustainable living, so it’s natural that the MileHighCity is now home to the first large-scale bike sharing system in the U.S.,” said Mayor John Hickenlooper. “Bike sharing is a viable transportation option to help improve the overall health of Americans and reduce our carbon footprint. Let’s start a two-wheel revolution. Let’s make every day Bike-to-Somewhere Day.”
The launch event kicked off this morning with Mayor Hickenlooper and musicians. B-cycles flooded CivicCenterPark and the City and CountyBuilding’s front steps along with hundreds of spectators. Hickenlooper then led hundreds of bicycle supporters, some on them on red B-cycle bikes and others on their own bikes, on a kick-off bicycle parade around Civic Center Park. Denver B-cycle went live and fully operational at noon, launching with approximately 400 red Trek B-cycles at 40 B-stations throughout the city.
“B-stations” located all around town
Denver B-cycle members can pick up a B-cycle from any B-station and drop it off at any other B-station. B-stations are located throughout downtown Denver, Capitol Hill, Cherry Creek and University of Denver, among other areas. By the end of the June, Denver will have approximately 500 B-cycles at 45-50 B-stations.
Users can sign up for 7-day ($20), 30-day ($30) or annual memberships ($65) online. Users can also purchase a $5 24-hour membership at the B-cycle station with his/her credit card. Discounts are available for students and seniors. Once registered in the system as a member, there is no charge for the first 30 minutes every time the member checks out a B-cycle from a station. After 30 minutes additional usage fee apply that escalate every half hour thereafter. The fee caps at $65/day.
Denver Bike Sharing receives its funds through grants, sponsorships, memberships and transaction fees.
Along with Kaiser Permanente’s sponsorship, the contributions from key community partners –- Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee, the Walton Family Foundation, the Anschutz Foundation, Gates Family Foundation, the University of Colorado Housing Authority, and the Gary Williams Company –- helped get the program rolling. In addition to foundation and corporate support, Denver Bike Sharing was awarded $210,000 in 2009 from the federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program. No city tax dollars are going to Denver Bike Sharing.
Starting in June, the B-cycle bikes will be equipped with RFID chips and computers to track mileage, calories burned and carbon offsets. Riders can monitor their personal fitness, see their contributions to the City’s green efforts and connect with others online.
Denver B-cycle offers residents and visitors an alternative form of public transportation, which supports the City’s Greenprint Climate Action Plan, the Strategic Transportation Plan and the Living Streets Initiative. It is integrated into the larger multi-modal transportation system, including buses and the light rail. This multi-modal approach, along with over 358 miles of bike routes/trails and 300 days of sunshine, makes Denver the perfect City to launch a bike sharing system.
For more information, visit the B-Cycle website.
About Denver Bike Sharing
Denver B-cycle, presented by Kaiser Permanente in association with a variety of community sponsors, is owned and operated by Denver Bike Sharing, a Colorado charitable, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Denver Bike Sharing exists to promote health, quality of life and preservation of the environment in Denver. By building and operating a comprehensive, citywide bike sharing system, Denver Bike Sharing is offering residents and visitors an alternative form of public transportation, which is both environmentally friendly and affordable. It complements and integrates into the city’s overall transportation system and helps to implement the Greenprint Denver’s Climate Action Plan.
B-cycle is a partnership between Humana Inc., Trek Bicycle Corporation and Crispin Porter + Bogusky. The founding partners share a belief that bicycles should be a vehicle for positive health and environmental change and an important part of a community’s transportation ecosystem.