Disclaimer: KUT/KUTX is a sponsor of Austin B-cycle.
The wait is over: Austinites will have a new way to beat downtown traffic come December 21.
Austin B-cycle is launching Austin’s first ever bike sharing program. There will be 11 stations located throughout downtown and south central Austin. Participants will be able to visit a station, rent a bike, ride it and return it to any station.
There’s three tiers of pricing:
- Day pass: $8. Bikes are free to rent for their first half hour, with a $4 charge for each additional half hour.
- Seven day pass: $25
- Annual membership: $80
A $250 founding membership is also available, including three years of service.
Austin B-cycle executive director Elliott McFadden says he’s seen the positive impact similar bike sharing programs have in cities like San Francisco. He believes Austin’s program will be an efficient way for people to navigate downtown.
“Right now we have so much congestion, and it’s often difficult to find parking,” McFadden says. “Bike sharing is really going to revolutionize the way people get around downtown.”
The bikes are one-size fits all and feature a front-end basket. “They’re really great bikes for this kind of system. They can withstand the elements, they fit a wide range of people,” McFadden adds.
B-cycle plans to expand to 40 stations with 400 bikes by March 2014. The system is funded by a $1.5 million federal transportation grant and $500,000 in private donations.