Written by Emily Bayliss Locals can all relate to the nuisance of having to plan their days around avoiding Austin’s atrocious traffic. Austin’s steadily increasing traffic problems are unfortunately growing faster than the development of our traditional public transportation system. But have no fear, the tides are finally changing! The Bike Share Program is coming to save the day by providing the long awaited solution to this obstacle- an affordable, efficient and eco-friendly way to travel around the city. Austin is a progressive, cutting edge city and it’s time our public transport starts reflecting that.
SXSW is proud to be one of the founding sponsors of the program, which will launch its first round of bikes in December. The first ten stations will be located in the downtown area and the city plans to have 40 stations, 400 bikes, by Spring 2014. All locations were chosen by local voter feedback and will be conveniently located every two to three blocks near transit stations and popular destinations.
The prices have not yet been finalized, but they will reflect those of other cities using the program. The rate structure is expected to be: free for the first thirty minutes, $8 a day, $20 a week and $80 a year.
City Council approved B-Cycle to be in charge of equipment purchases and the overall operations of the program. B-Cycle has proven its capabilities by successfully installing 17 Bike Shares across the U.S., including San Antonio, Boulder, Denver, Houston, Fort Woth, Nashville and Honolulu.
Bike Share will not only help decrease traffic by bridging the gaps between transit stations and your ultimate destination, but it will also dramatically improve the flow of the city during major events like SXSW. Whether you are bar hopping or commuting to work, Bike Share can make your life easier!