It’s very cool to watch.
[B-cycle and city officials announced] plans to add three bicycle stations in April, at HemisView Village apartments, the San Antonio Housing Authority park on South Flores Street, and the 1221 Broadway apartments, said Cindi Snell, executive director of San Antonio B-cycle and co-owner of Bike World. That will bring the total number of stations to 23, with 230 bicycles in circulation.
The program started with 14 stations.
By the year’s end, B-cycle may add five to seven more bicycle stations near the Spanish colonial missions south of downtown, thanks to a federal parks grant. B-cycle is seeking $50,000 to $60,000 in donations to outfit the mission stations with bicycles because the grant covers only the stations, Snell said.
To date, 1,069 people have signed up for annual B-cycle memberships, Snell said, slightly shy of the goal of 1,200 in the first year.
More than 6,700 people have bought the $10, 24-hour passes, with 876 sold this month alone — the highest in a single month since the program began.
San Antonio now has the second busiest B-cycle program in the country, behind Denver, she said.
“I feel like that there’s a really an emerging bike culture in San Antonio, like we’ve never seen this before,” Snell said.
The SA Business Journal adds on:
The primary goal for 2012, say San Antonio officials, is to expand the bike share program beyond the existing 20 stations throughout downtown San Antonio and to connect riders with other key points of interest in surrounding areas.
“B–Cycle members have embraced this program and we can’t wait to see how much more we can do in the upcoming year,” Snell says.
Mayor Julian Castro says San Antonio was the first city in Texas to implement a modern bike-share program.
“San Antonio is leading the way in showing how quickly cycling can be accepted as a legitimate, everyday transportation option,” he says.
They’re way ahead in Texas, that’s for sure. The Houston B-Cycle page is still “coming soon”, while Austin still isn’t listed as a participating city. You have to figure that if they can be successful in San Antonio they can be successful elsewhere. Got to get the programs up and running first, however.
On a tangential note, the Press’ Eating Our Words blog has some bike-related news of interest:
3. We started an organization, called OKRA – An Organization Kollaboration on Restaurant Affairs – which is actively pursuing initiatives that will lead to reduced on-street parking in our city. I was going to release a press release on this next week, but here you go anyway. We’re going to start providing complimentary bike racks to small restaurants and bars inside the loop, at our cost, to encourage alternative transportation in Houston. This is for OTHER restaurants and bars, not our own, which already have bike parking.
That’s from an email by Bobby Heugel, co-owner of Hay Merchant, in response to a story about complaints about valet parking in the neighborhood. Heugel has been one of the more vocal people giving feedback of the proposed revisions to the Off Street Parking ordinance. He’s clearly putting some money where his mouth is, which I respect. Especially now that the weather’s nice, I like to bike where possible to things in the neighborhood instead of drive precisely because it makes parking a non-issue. Makes the amenities nearby that much more amenable. For a lot of places, when you take the time and effort to park out of the equation, it’s probably just as quick to get there via pedal power.