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New bike share kiosks now open

Woo hoo!

Organizers of Houston’s bike-sharing program are excited about an increase in use of the community bicycles since 18 new kiosks around downtown and Midtown opened.

After slow-going last year for the B-Cycle program, use of the bikes increased since the weekend, when word that many of the new stations were open spread on social media sites.

“We have skyrocketed in checkouts,” said Laura Spanjian, Houston’s sustainability director. “Like a 300 percent increase in the last 72 hours.”

[…]

The recent additions expanded Houston’s bike sharing network from three stations and 18 bikes in February to 21 stations and 175 bikes as of Wednesday. Three more stations and more bikes are planned next month, completing the second phase. A $750,000 deal with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas paid for the expansion and operations.

See here for the announcement of the expansion, here for the Mayor’s press release, and here for a map of the kiosk locations. According to Laura Spanjian, who responded to an email question I sent, the Week of March 18, with only 5 stations live, there were 150 checkouts and 84 memberships. The week of March 25, with 21 stations live, there were 500 checkouts and 312 memberships. This week has been even busier, with more than 75 new memberships sold at the weekly farmer’s market downtown. I bought my membership yesterday, too – my office is moving downtown in May, and there’s a kiosk a block from where my office will be. I’m very much looking forward to having non-car options for getting to lunch. As I said in my previous post, there are lots of good options for where to expand next, but let’s see some good numbers here first. I’m encouraged by how it’s going so far.

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