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San Antonio B-Cycle expands again

I’m truly impressed at how successful this has been.

San Antonio’s newest B-Cycle bike sharing stations opened Friday at six new locations around South San Antonio.

The new stations — located at Roosevelt Park, Concepcion Park, Mission Concepcion, Mission Road Street Connection, VFW River Trail Access and Mission San Jose — provide yet another way for residents and visitors to explore the ever-expanding Mission Reach and the San Antonio missions.

[...]

[B-Cycle CEO Bob Burns] said since B-Cycle came to San Antonio 64,000 trips have been logged, accounting for around 164,000 miles traveled.

Julia Diana, special projects manager for San Antonio’s office of sustainability, said B-Cycle now boasts 30 locations throughout the city and about 280 bikes.

Diana added San Antonio is now the second-largest B-Cycle city in the U.S., behind only Denver.

If you click over to San Antonio B-Cycle, you have to zoom out on the embedded Google map of their locations to see them all. It’s really remarkable. And they’re not done yet.

The City Council on Thursday will consider a $1 million expansion of San Antonio B-cycle, one that would add 15 stations to the bike share program by fall 2013.

If approved, the program would grow from 30 to 45 stations next year and include kiosks as far north as the San Antonio Zoo, and a handful more downtown.

A new cluster would occupy points up Broadway, at the zoo and Brackenridge Park.

“That (stretch) is already very well-traveled, by locals and visitors alike who use Avenue B,” B-cycle executive director Cindi Snell said. “People are going there already. They just don’t have a place to park when they get there.”

More stations are planned for the downtown core.

“We’re looking at filling in the downtown area and the central core of the city, and that creates the ability for the system to expand outward to other areas of the city,” said W. Laurence Doxsey, director of the city’s Office of Environmental Policy.

Very cool. As always, seeing stories like this makes me want to check in on how Houston B-Cycle is doing. Back in August, I noted that it was due for an expansion in October, but I had not heard anything about that since then, and the map on Houston’s B-Cycle page still only shows the three original locations. So I sent an inquiry to Laura Spanjian, and this is what she sent me:

B-Cycle DATA
First Six Months of Program

Current Program – 3 stations and 18 bicycles that were funded by an EPA Clean Air grant that was secured by the City of Houston’s Office of Sustainability. The grant provided approximately $116,000 to establish the initial program.

Memberships – Over 1,200 members with a majority coming from single day riders.

Checkouts – Over 2,000 bike checkouts in first 6 months averaging almost 300 checkouts per month. Market Square has the most check-outs, followed by City Hall and the GRB.

Costs – Current operating expenses are being covered by revenue from memberships, rentals and sponsorships.

Bikes and Stations – The technology has been very dependable with less than 1% downtime. And the bikes have held up very well with only a handful of flat tires and minor repairs over the first 6 months. Bike Barn is providing the mechanical support and administering the maintenance of the bicycles.

Expansion – There is a planned expansion of the program starting in early spring 2013. The goal is to have 175 bikes and 23 stations in downtown, mid-town and Montrose. With this density, the program should generate over 25,000 checkouts and a membership base of over 15,000. The expansion has been delayed due to reviews and approvals taking longer than expected: Department of Energy review and approval, federal review (National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) approval) and state and local Historic Preservation review. We also are working on City of Houston permitting approvals for each of the additional locations.

So there you have it. I’ll keep an eye out for further updates in the spring.

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2 Comments

  1. RBearSAT says:

    B-Cycle has reached the tipping point in San Antonio. Now, not only do tourists use the system to get around to the various locations in the city, including the missions, but locals use it to get around downtown for appointments or activities.

    Another cool point, recently the B-Cycle maintenance bike (a bike with a trailer and air tank attached) was stolen. They put out the “have you seen this …” photo on Facebook. The status went viral for a day and the bike was recovered a couple days later. Everyone rallied behind the B-Cycle team.

    Good luck on Houston’s program. You can count it as being one step ahead of Austin, which we do all the time.

  2. [...] press release is here, the full Chron story is here, and my previous updates on Houston B-Cycle are here and here. Click on the story link to see a map of the forthcoming B-Cycle kiosk locations. [...]

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