Take A B-Cycle Out For A Spin Downtown Today!

Try out the fastest growing bikeshare system in the country today.
Thanks to all the folks that pedaled and clicked Fargo to the head of the pack in the B-Cycle “who wants it more” national contest.
thaks especially to super leaders like Susie Ekberg Risher, Pete Trelstad John Jorgensen, Frode Tilden, Barry Nelson, and Rory Beil coordinator of “Streets Alive”

Here’s a neat article by Heidi Shaffer published shed: September 15, 2011 11:42:44 PM CDT
B-Cycle plans Fargo test drive today
Heidi Shaffer, INFORUM

A cyclist takes a B-Cycle for a spin in Spartanburg, S.C. A test run of the program is coming to downtown Fargo streets today and Sunday. Photo special to The Forum
FARGO – The wheels are in motion to get a bike-share program rolling
The system, which lets users pay to use a bike to get to and from key transportation hubs, is coming to town today and Sunday for a test ride.

It’s really the first step in Fargo getting the latest trend in public transportation, said City Commissioner Mike Williams.

Bike-sharing is meant to supplement other transit systems and differs from a bike rental. Think of it as taking a pedal-powered taxi rather than renting a car at the airport, said Jason McDowell, projects and logistics manager for B-Cycle.

Williams first saw B-Cycle in Madison, Wis., earlier this year and invited the company to give Fargo a spin.

An online “Who wants it more?” poll on B-Cycle’s website pushed Fargo into the company’s focus.

In a week, Fargo surpassed all other U.S. cities and took the No. 1 spot with more than 220,000 people voting. Moorhead is currently in fourth place with more than 100,000 votes.

Bike-share programs are gaining traction in the U.S. after steady growth in Europe in recent years, Williams said. New York City announced Wednesday it will start a 10,000-bike system next summer.

Fargo would begin much smaller, and there are still some major considerations, such as financing, before a plan could be put in motion, Williams said. He is hoping the demo will get nonprofits and businesses interested in the concept to step forward with sponsorship.

B-Cycle, an off-shoot of Trek Bicycle Corporation in Waterloo, Wis., operates in about a dozen different communities of all sizes.

The size of the fleet and location of the docking stations varies by individual needs within a community, McDowell said.

Many cities have partnered with universities and large employers that need help moving many people around a relatively small area.

And Fargo’s freezing temperatures aren’t expected to be a problem in the winter, McDowell said.

B-Cycle did a test run of the system from December to February on a Colorado college campus, and the company worried students wouldn’t be interested.

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“What we found is that they used the heck out of it because given the choice between walking for 20 minutes in wind chill or getting on a bike and zipping there in a few minutes, boy they sure liked the bike,” he said.

How a bike-share works

Register online or purchase a 24-hour membership at a bike docking kiosk. Daily memberships start around $5, and yearly passes generally run about $60.
Remove bike from dock.
Ride to the next docking station that is nearest your destination.
Park bike in dock, where it is again locked and ready for next rider.
Streets Alive! rolls in F-M again Sunday
FARGO – Fargo-Moorhead will close three miles of streets to motorized traffic from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday and open the road to bicyclists and pedestrians. For more information, visit www.fmstreetsalive.org.

If you go

What: B-Cycle bike-sharing demonstration

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday during Streets Alive!

Where: U.S. Bank Plaza, near Broadway and Second Avenue North in downtown Fargo

Info: The public can talk with B-Cycle representatives, take a quick ride and learn how to check out and re-dock bicycles.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Heidi Shaffer at (701) 241-5511
Tags: news, fargo, transportation

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