Denver bike share gets federal boost

A B-cycle station at 25th St and Lawrence St. in Denver. The bike share will add another 30 stations with the help of a federal grant. (Photo: Mikeshoup, Wikimedia)
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Trish Anderton

A federal grant will help Denver’s bike-share program install 30 new stations at tourist destinations and near public transit stops.

The new locations will include the Denver Zoo and the Museum of Nature and Science. The B-Cycle program also plans to reach into more diverse neighborhoods, addressing complaints that it has snubbed low-income residents.

B-cycle memberships range from $8 for a day up to $80 for a year. Members can check a bike out at any station, ride for up to 30 minutes for free, and return it to any station. An hour-long rental costs $1, and every additional half-hour costs $4.

"We plan to take this program to the next level," said Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, as quoted by the Denver Post. "Riding a bike is better for our environment and better for our collective fitness and Denver B-Cycle is playing a major role on both of these important issues."

The $1.3 million expansion brings the total number of stations around the city to 83. It was funded in part by a $652,200 grant from the Federal Highway Administration’s Transportation, Community, and System Preservation Program, which aims to make U.S. transportation systems more efficient while reducing their environmental impact.

Denver Post Facebook fans are less than ecstatic about the news. Twelve have posted negative comments about the expansion, while only four express enthusiasm.

“This idea is only succeeding on government subsidy, not its own merit,” complains Shawn Slipknotyk.

“Waste of money,” argues Misty Visher. “I bought my bike...why can't others? Why do I have pay for them to borrow a bike they have to pay to rent? Sounds kinda silly doesn't it?”

David Redneck Woosley agrees: “Waste of money. Fix the roads and school. Better yet give the FD And PD A RAISE.”

But J.C. Whitfield defends the program: “It's awesome for visitors to use to explore our city. I used it in Boulder and loved it.”

And Sasha Shtern is “pretty sure everyone who voiced opposition in this thread lives in the burbs and hasn't ever seen a b-cycle stand.”

Do you think federal money for bike-share programs is a good idea? Tell us why – or why not –  in the comment section!