The B-Cycle bike-sharing program are hoping to launch in Boulder, Colorado this spring. From 20 May, roughly 200 bikes will be available from 25 downtown docking and rental kiosks – as long as $750,000 of additional funding can be found.
In total, $1.25 million is needed to launch the program. A $250,000 federal grant is currently pledged by the City of Boulder, but Boulder B-Cycle are now charged with raising another $1mil to kick things off.
The non-profit organization have secured roughly 35 percent of that funding goal and are continuing to seek donations from city residents and businesses. The push continues this Friday, 14 January, with an official launch party.
Once up and running, Boulder B-Cycle predict that their annual memberships and advertizing opportunities on the bikes and kiosks – local businesses can secure space on the basket of one bike for just $500 for an entire year – will allow them to be financially self-sufficient.
Annual membership will be $50 in 2011, with day passes costing $5 – and as a bonus, both will be interchangeable with Denver’s B-Cycle program. The first hour of each trip will be free and a $4 per half-hour fee is charged for trips over an hour to both types of users. Day-passes will be available at the kiosks, while annual memberships will be sold online.
“We have three main focuses in terms of our users,” said Elizabeth Train community engagement director of Boulder B-Cycle to BikeRadar. “The visitor, again Boulder has 2.5 million a year, and we’re hoping that this will become one of those treasured Boulder destination [activities]. There are also 55,000 people who commute into Boulder from out of town everyday for work, so we’re hoping that some of those folks… will take a B-Cycle instead of getting back in their cars at lunch. I believe that people that live in Boulder and already have bikes — or even 7 bikes, like I do — will use the system.”
A B-Cycle is meant for short trips around town, for example: to expand one's lunchtime range
The Boulder launch follows successful bike sharing programs in Denver, Minneapolis, DesMoines, Chicago, San Antonio and Washington D.C. The Denver scheme was proclaimed an overwhelming success in its first season, with 103,000 rides and 30,000 users. Only one bike was stolen and only one ‘in-use’ mechanical problem was reported – a flat tire.
The idea, design and technology powering B-cycle was born at the base of the Flatirons [famous rock formations near Boulder ed] and local creative agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky was the driving force behind B-cycle's national launch.
Fellow Boulder County businesses Amadeus Consulting and KIOSK Information Systems developed the software and user kiosks respectively. Other founding partners include Humana and Wisconsin-based Trek Bikes, who designed and manufacture the bikes.