August 15, 2018 -- Houston’s bike share system, Houston BCycle, will grow to 128 stations over the next two years as part of the program’s expansion funded by a $3.7 million federal grant.
“Houston BCycle’s expansion project is allowing more Houstonians an affordable way to improve their personal health as well as the health of our environment,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “Cycling allows people to explore neighborhoods in a unique and engaging way. Increasing the number of Houston BCycle stations provides a much-needed alternative to traveling in single-occupancy automotive vehicles and complements our public transit system.”
This week, five new stations are planned for installation at the University of Houston, near TDECU Stadium, Cougar Village, Student Center North, Energy Research Park, and the College of Optometry. Significant expansion will also happen in the Texas Medical Center (TMC), University of Houston-Downtown, and Texas Southern University.
The City Council approved expansion for an eventual project total of 97 stations and 767 bicycles. Eighty percent of the funds comes from the Federal Highway Administration.
The project is managed by the city’s Planning & Development Department. Houston Bike Share, the city’s project partner and program operator, provides the 20% local match and oversees installation of the bike stations.
Thirty-two bike stations have been installed to date reaching the neighborhoods of EaDO, Greater East End, Third Ward, TMC,Rice University campus, Washington Corridor, Heights, Near Northside, and surrounding areas. Three bike stations damaged during Hurricane Harvey were also replaced. The project map and a list of installed bike stations can be viewed on the BCycle project page.
Bike sharing is a form of transportation that allows members of the public to undock bikes from a station in one part of town, ride, and leave the bike at any other station. Rides can also be round-trip.
Houston BCycle members get the first 60 minutes of every trip free, with an overage fee of $3 per every additional 30 minutes. There is no limit to the amount of sub-60 minute trips a member can make in a day.
Memberships are available for $9 per month or $99 per year. Students and staff of local universities have access to a $5 per month membership. Membership options are available online, through the Houston BCycle website or the mobile app, which allows users to check out bikes at the stations using their smart phones. Non-members can check out bikes from any station using their credit card, paying a walk-up rate of $3 per 30 minutes.
Since January 1, Houston BCycle has seen 36,478 riders take 96,293 trips and travel 619,865 miles. Houston Bike Share Executive Director Beth Martin estimates that Houstonians are on track to break the annual trip record – 142,257 miles in 2017– for each consecutive year since the program launched in 2012.
Houston Bike Share, the local nonprofit that operates the Houston BCycle system, lists environmental and personal health as key facets of its mission. In 2017, Houston BCycle users offset 913,332 pounds of carbon emissions and burned over 38 million calories. Houston BCycle’s Official Healthcare Sponsor is Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center.
“This grant will allow us to continue to expand the city’s bike share system and reach even more areas of Houston,” said Martin. “Changing the transit landscape in Houston is our ultimate goal. We’re honored to have City Council’s continued support to make affordable, sustainable and healthy transportation available to as many people as possible.”
Houston BCycle is the City of Houston’s premier bike share system. Houston BCycle is operated by Houston Bike Share, a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit with the mission of providing equitable access to bike share that fosters recreation, mobility and personal wellness. Learn more at houstonbcycle.com.