Mayor Vidal and Colorado Rapids ‘Kick Off’ Second Season of Denver B-cycle
By Brent Tongco Mar 14, 2011 | 3:00AM
Mayor Vidal and the Colorado Rapids ‘Kick Off’ Second Season of Denver’s Bike Sharing System
Denver B-cycle launches with system improvements and $49 annual membership special offer
DENVER – MONDAY, March 14, 2011 – Colorado non-profit Denver Bike Sharing, with the help of Mayor Guillermo (Bill) V. Vidal and Colorado Rapids players Conor Casey (MLS Cup MVP) and Omar Cummings, launched Denver B-cycle’s second season today with a press event at the Denver Public Library B-cycle station. Denver B-cycle’s second season kicks off with improvements to the system and a limited-time $49 annual membership special offer that lasts through Earth Day, April 22.
“What a fabulous honor to kick off the season for cycling and soccer in Denver,” said Mayor Vidal. “I hope today’s combined celebration of Denver B-Cycle and the 2010 MLS Champions Colorado Rapids ensures another strong finish for both organizations!”
Denver B-cycle announced today its new enhancements for the 2011 season. This winter during B-cycle hibernation, the B-cycle station kiosks were enhanced with improved screen technology and intelligence. The new color LCD screens have increased responsiveness and functionality. The new kiosk computer processor has sped up server connections and created improved processing. All bikes have been cleaned, overhauled and updated. Enhancements include sturdier kickstands and improved handlebar grips. Furthermore, the age limit has been reduced from the previous, no exception 18 years of age, to the improved 16 years of age with proof of a valid driver’s license. The lowered minimum age will create a new way of thinking about transportation for new, young drivers. Denver B-cycle is hoping to change their habits from the start in order to help them think of bikes as a way to get around, not simply a fun ride.
“Our goal is to provide the best customer experience possible for people checking out and riding B-cycles,” said Ken Gart, Chair of Denver Bike Sharing Board. “In our first season we received valuable feedback from our members. We evaluated the feedback, passed it along to B-cycle and they addressed many of last year’s issues, creating a system that is now easier and more fun to use.”
Early Season Offer - $49 Annual Memberships
Celebrating the start of the second season, Denver B-cycle also announced its early season annual membership special. Starting today, annual memberships will be sold at a discounted price of $49 ($16 off regular price). This offer lasts till Earth Day, April 22, which also coincides with Denver B-cycle’s 1st birthday. Denver B-cycle will continue to offer 24-hour, 7-day and 30-day access passes for visitors or those who are looking for short-term access.
2010 Recap & Beyond
The 2010 inaugural season ended on December 5, with 500 bikes at 50 stations. Within less than seven months of operation, Denver B-cycle reached 102,981 rides. With 1,784 annual B-cycle members and 32,922 short-term members, it is no wonder B-cycle mileage totaled 211,111 miles around the Denver area. Through specially designed B-cycle tracking software, riders were made aware of how many calories they individually burned during the season. The total burned by all riders during the 102,981 rides was 6,333,332 calories and 1,810 lbs were shed in weight loss.
Keeping people on B-cycles and out of cars not only created increased health benefits but also saved on carbon emissions. According to a survey of Denver B-cycle members, 43.16% of Denver B-cycle trips replaced car trips, avoiding 312,121 lbs. of carbon emissions. Other environmental and economic benefits included the 9.613 lbs. of avoided toxic air pollution and 15,868 gallons of gasoline not used on fuel for car transportation. In money alone, that would save an estimated $41,256 on not purchasing gasoline and $311,126 savings on downtown Denver parking. In Denver B-cycle’s first year, more than 20% of members combined their trips with light rail or bus commutes.
“Denver B-cycle’s 2010 stats show the success of bike sharing as an alternative form of public transportation, supporting the City’s Greenprint Climate Action Plan and the Strategic Transportation Plan,” said Vidal. “It is integrated into the larger multi-modal transportation system, including RTD buses and the light rail. This multi-modal approach, along with over 358 miles of bike routes/trails and 300 days of sunshine, has allowed Denver to operate a successful bike sharing system.”
Kaiser Permanente is continuing to serve as the Presenting Funder of Denver B-cycle. They are in their second year of the organization’s three-year $450,000 community benefit sponsorship, which is a visible display of confidence in the long-term promise of the system. Kaiser Permanente, the state’s largest nonprofit health plan, has continued to provide Denver B-cycle with in-kind support, expertise and resources for research and evaluation, community and worksite outreach, and volunteer support for special projects.
“Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping Coloradans make healthier choices, “ said Monica Buhlig, MPH, Senior Community Healthy Specialist, Kaiser Permanente Community & Local Government Relations. “We are thrilled to be part of Denver B-cycle for the second year in a row, as it provides an active transportation option for Denver’s residents and visitors and supports our mission to build healthier communities.”
Denver B-cycle used the St. Patrick’s Day parade this past Saturday as a celebratory welcome back of the red bikes. Additionally, after the parade, riders rode the B-cycles to assigned stations throughout Denver, creating an efficient and fun distribution method which eliminated the need to rely on trucks to distribute the bikes around town.
For more information on Denver B-cycle, visit www.denver.bcycle.com.
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About Denver Bike Sharing
Denver B-cycle, presented by Kaiser Permanente in association with a variety of community sponsors, is owned and operated by Denver Bike Sharing, a Colorado charitable, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Denver Bike Sharing exists to promote health, quality of life and preservation of the environment in Denver. expandThrough operating a citywide bike sharing system, Denver Bike Sharing offers residents and visitors an alternative form of public transportation, which is both environmentally friendly and affordable. It complements and integrates into the city’s overall transportation system and helps to implement the Greenprint Denver’s Climate Action Plan. www.denver.bcycle.com
B-cycle is a partnership between Trek Bicycle Corporation, Humana Inc., and Crispin Porter + Bogusky. The founding partners share a belief that bicycles should be a vehicle for positive health and environmental change and an important part of a community’s transportation ecosystem.
About Kaiser Permanente Colorado
Kaiser Permanente Colorado is the state’s largest nonprofit health plan, proudly working to improve the lives and health of Denver, Boulder, and southern Colorado area residents for 40 years. Kaiser Permanente Colorado provides comprehensive health care services to more than 535,000 members through 21 medical offices and a network of affiliated hospitals and physicians. The health plan was named “Highest in Member Satisfaction” among Commercial Health Plans by J.D. Power and Associates for the third straight year. Kaiser Permanente was also recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as the top-ranked private health plan in Colorado , No. 9 in the nation and one of the top 5 Medicare plans in the U.S. for the second year in a row. In 2009, Kaiser Permanente proudly directed more than $82 million to community benefit programs to improve the health of all Coloradans. For more Kaiser Permanente news, visit kp.org/newscenter or follow us on twitter @kpcolorado or facebook.com/kpcolorado.