The official program was launched April 22, 2010, after a test period of more than 1 year was successfully completed.
Some 500 new, shiny red Trek bicycles are now available for sharing at 40 stations around the Mile High City, all part of Denver B-cycle, the nation’s first citywide bike-sharing program. Each of the sturdy, three-speed, bright red Trek bikes comes with a wire basket, built-in light and lock. Denver visitors can purchase a $5, 24-hour membership with a credit card at any B-cycle station. After becoming a member, riders can pick up a B-cycle from any station and drop
“The purpose of the program is bike sharing, not bike rental,” states Richard Scharf, president & CEO of VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau. “The bikes make it easy to get around town from one spot to another. You can pick up a bike at the Colorado Convention Center and drop it near the Denver Art Museum. Then, after seeing the museum, you can pick up another bike and ride it to a station near your hotel. You never have to worry about what to do with the bike, because you leave it at each destination and then pick up another one,” he said.
Starting in June 2010, the Denver B-cycle bikes will be equipped with RFID chips and computers to track mileage, calories burned and carbon offsets. Riders can monitor their personal fitness and see their contributions to the City’s greening efforts to lower carbon emissions.
Popularized in Europe and Asia where there are more than 50 cities with public bike-sharing systems, Denver follows on the heels of two other cities in North America that have launched successful bike sharing systems in the past year – Montreal in the summer of 2009 and Mexico City in the spring of 2010.
Users can also sign up for 7-day ($20), 30-day ($30) or annual memberships ($65) online. Discounts are available for students and seniors. Once registered in the system as a member, there is no charge for the first 30 minutes every time the member checks out a B-cycle from a station. After 30 minutes additional usage fees apply that escalate every half hour thereafter.
Bikes stations are located in convenient spots downtown near hotels, on the 16th Street Mall, by museums, at the Colorado Convention Center, in parks and at shopping centers. Other stations are located in nearby trendy neighborhoods like LoHi, LoDo, Highlands, Cherry Creek North, the Golden Triangle Museum District, and Old South Pearl Street.
Kaiser Permanente is the presenting sponsor of Denver B-cycle with contributions from other key community partners.