City to Partner with Nonprofit to Bring Bike Share Back to New Orleans
NEW ORLEANS — Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced the City’s partnership with a new local nonprofit organization, Blue Krewe of New Orleans, to bring bike sharing back to the City of New Orleans. Blue Krewe said it will ensure a “healthy, equitable transportation option established and operated by and for the people of New Orleans.”
The City Council approved Cantrell’s proposed cooperative endeavor agreement at a meeting this week.
“This new local partnership with Blue Krewe brings together experience in bike share operations with local knowledge and local passion around our shared goal of operating a successful bike share program in New Orleans. The City is excited to work side-by-side with the Blue Krewe team to bring bike share back to our residents,” said Cantrell.
The city’s first bike share operation, Blue Bikes, halted operations in March 2020 because of the pandemic and ownership issues. The City says that more than 66,000 riders rode more than a million miles in its two years of operation. Since then, behind-the-scenes efforts have been made to bring the bikes back.
“We have many forward-thinking advocates in this city that have made improving transportation a priority, and the commitment to introducing a new bike-sharing network to our city is a prime example. I want to welcome Blue Krewe, a nonprofit that will invest in our city, rather than their bottom line, and provide our residents with a sustainable, equitable, and affordable transportation option,” said Kristin Gisleson Palmer, City Councilmember for District C and chair of the transportation committee.
Incubated and supported with startup funding from the Greater New Orleans Foundation, Blue Krewe has coordinated with Cantrell and the City’s Office of Transportation to create a partnership.
The CEO of Blue Krewe is Geoff Coats, who launched and ran the New Orleans bike share operations for Social Bicycles in 2017 and was general manager of the endeavor until Uber sold the company in 2020.
“Blue Krewe has ambitious goals that will only be accomplished with the support of individuals, businesses, and philanthropists in our community,” said Coats. “We invite – in fact we implore – everyone in New Orleans who shares our vision of a healthier, active, and more sustainable future for our city to join us in supporting this pioneering effort to relaunch bike share for our community. Individuals can become Founding Members and businesses can learn more about becoming Founding Supporters by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.”