City Announces Bike Share Preview Extension
NEW ORLEANS — The City of New Orleans, in conjunction with Social Bicycles Inc. (SoBi), announced it will extend the preview of the City’s bike share program through Friday, March 31. The initial preview was a success and yielded positive results in a short time period. From Feb. 13 to Feb. 23, 128 riders took 235 unique trips. Over 500 miles were biked with a two mile average trip distance. Extending the preview will allow even more residents to experience the great benefits the bike share program will offer.
During the extended preview, residents and visitors can sign-up and use one of the 35 bicycles to ride between seven temporary stations setup in Iberville, Downtown and Central City. Two additional bicycle racks will be available to end a ride or find a bike.
“Extending the bike share preview was an easy decision,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu said. “The Initial preview was a great success and offered riders a new affordable transportation option and a great way to experience New Orleans. We can’t wait for the full program to begin in the Fall.”
“I am ecstatic that our bike share program preview is already being extended to neighborhoods outside of downtown,” Councilmember Jason Williams said. “This innovative service fills some of our transportation gaps and Social Bikes have been a wonderful partner. I am committed to getting all New Orleanians access to this crucial and enjoyable form of connection and mobility.”
“Bike share is the City’s newest and most convenient form of public transportation,” Councilmember Jared C. Brossett, City Council Transportation and Airport Committee chairperson, said. “It’s a network of bicycles and automated kiosks that allows users to arrange public transportation on their schedule. I am pleased that the City is extending the bike share preview to allow more users the opportunity to experience and embrace this service.”
During the extended preview period, riders can pay $15 to enjoy a 60 minute trip every day through March 31. The hourly rate is $8 per hour, pro-rated by the minute. Sign up using either the website or by downloading the Social Bicycles app for iPhones and Android phones. There will also be greeters at various stations to help people signup and get started biking.
To allow more residents to participate in the preview, two bike stations will be relocated today, Wednesday, March 1. Find a bike at anyone of the listed preview stations:
• Basin and Bienville streets (near Magnolia Yoga Studio)
• 501 Loyola Ave. (Near Hyatt)
• Lafayette Square at Magazine Street
• Baronne and Common streets (Near the Renaissance Pere Marquette Hotel)
• Magazine and Erato streets (Beginning March 1)
• Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (Beginning March 1)
• 1000 Tchoupitoulas St. (near Cochon Restaurant)
• 219 Loyola Ave. (Library Main Branch – existing bike racks)
• Polymnia Street and St. Charles Avenue (near Avenue Pub – existing bike racks)
The full program, launching this Fall, will consist of 70 stations with 700 bicycles and a guaranteed minimum future expansion of 90 stations with 900 bicycles. 100 percent of the bike share program will be privately financed through sponsorships, advertisements, and rental fees.
The fees for bike rental are:
• Monthly Pass: $15 for unlimited trips up to one hour of riding a day (hourly rate thereafter).You can take as many trips as desired that all together add up to 60 minutes. For example, a 15-minute ride to work in the morning, a 5-minute ride for lunch; a 30 minute ride home with a quick stop to pick up some food totals 50 minutes for the day
• Low-Income Pass: $1.67 per month ($20 per year) for unlimited trips up to one hour of riding a day (hourly rate thereafter)
• Pay-as-you-go: $8 per hour of riding (pro-rated)
New Orleans has been growing rapidly as a bicycling city, city reps said. The city was recognized as a bicycle friendly community in the Fall of 2014 by the League of American Bicyclists. Last month, New Orleans was selected by People for Bikes as one of ten cities to participate in their Big Jump Project to reimage bicycle infrastructure.