The city officially announced that Bicycle Transit Systems will operate the city’s fledgling bike share system and B-cycle, a Wisconsin based bike share company, will provide bicycles, rental kiosks and technology. Coming in spring 2015, we’ll see 600 bikes at 60 stations around town. (Story to follow from Christine Fisher on PlanPhilly.)
Last April B-cycle was on hand with two other bike share contractors to give Philadelphians a chance to kick the tires and test out each system. Below is a video of Tyler Reeder of B-cycle demonstrating how to use a B-cycle station during that demo day. What Reeder is showing will be different from what we'll see on the streets, however, since Philadelphia will be the first city to use newly designed B-cycle stations. Still it gives you a sense of how B-cycle systems work.
When I tested out the sturdy B-cycle Trek three-speed last year I liked the smooth and relatively light ride. I found the seat comfortable and I appreciated the baskets (even though they are on the small side) and guards.
B-cycle operates bike share systems in 30 cities in North and South America, including Austin, Texas; Charlotte, North Carolina; Boulder and Denver, Colorado. B-Cycle is largely owned by Trek, a major bike company, which builds the custom bike share bikes. B-cycle has a reciprocity agreement among 15 cities where it operates bike share systems, which enables members in one city to use bikes in a partner city. So hopefully Philadelphia bike share members will be able to also use their cards while traveling in fellow B-cycle cities.
Ashley Hahn is an independent writer with a background in historic preservation and city planning. She started Eyes on the Street for PlanPhilly in 2011 and was PlanPhilly's managing editor from 2015-2017. Ashley has lived in 12 zip codes that she can think of, including neighborhoods in Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, and New York. She is a Philadelphian by choice.