Bike sharing takes many forms in Colorado
Getting Coloradans and visitors to our state on bikes more often is one of the things we strive for here at Bicycle Colorado. Getting more bikes “into the system” via bicycle sharing is one of the ways to do that. So it’s exciting to see bike sharing evolve in Colorado.
Where it all began: Denver, Boulder, Aspen and Basalt
The oldest bike share system in Colorado is B-Cycle. Those beefy, red, around-town bikes you may have seen in Denver and Boulder got their start after a temporary bike sharing system in Denver (set up for the 2008 Democratic National Convention) was a huge success. It’s been exciting to watch these systems expand over time.
B-cycle’s close cousin, WE-cycle, operates in Aspen and Basalt (and possibly soon in Glenwood Springs). B-cycle and WE-cycle systems operate with “smart docking stations” and users pick up and drop off the bikes at these stations.
Smarty bikes in Westminster and Fort Collins
Zagster is one provider of another type of bike share system—a “smart bike” system. The main difference between smart dock and smart bike systems is that with smart bikes, all the technology is housed within the bike itself. Systems can be set up so that users pick up bikes at docking stations, at regular racks or a combination of both.
A new system in Westminster (opened June 2016)
Made possible by a grant from the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG), Golden opened its new bicycle library on Bike to Work Day in June. The library is run out of the local visitor center downtown and offers a fleet of 40 bikes, including road bikes, mountain bikes and children’s bikes.
The fleet is stored in a shed behind the city’s visitor center, located right on the Clear Creek Trail. Next year, the library’s fleet will be expanded with new stations at the Colorado School of Mines campus and the Jefferson County Government Center light rail station.
¡Que Bueno, Buena Vista!
Last year, Bicycle Colorado worked with staff from Buena Vista School District to install a new bicycle library on the grounds of a local elementary school. The library is now fully stocked with 17 mountain bikes, helmets and locks.
The bikes are various sizes so kids of all ages can borrow them. The checkout system consists of a simple paper release form that school staff says is working well. The fleet was used for a week-long bike to school event in spring 2016 and demand has been steady.
So what’s next?
As bike share systems continue to emerge in Colorado communities, they are meeting a growing demand for two-wheeled travel for quick hops to the grocery store, daily trips to work or 10-mile weekend rides with the family on the trail.
We would love to hear your thoughts on the potential for bike share in your own community. Do you see a need and a desire? Share your ideas in the comments, and let’s work together to get more people on bikes more often!