Riding a bike is a childhood right of passage. As we age, we move from tricycle to bike with training wheels to classic two-wheeler. But at some point we shift from bikes to the expanded mobility of owning a car.
Kathryn Moore, program manager at Broward B-Cycle, thinks people should consider going back to the basics when it comes to getting around downtown Fort Lauderdale.
“I think biking is so much easier then driving, but many of us don’t think about doing it" Moore says. "It was something you did as a kid for fun but you never think about doing it as transportation,” adding that bike riding is better for the environment and human health.
Moore sees biking as an ideal form of transportation, not just for visiting tourists but also for people commuting to work. She says these bikes make sense for short trips around town as opposed to rental shops that cater to those needing bikes for a longer period of time.
B-Cycle is a private company based in Waterloo, Wisconsin that sets up bike share programs nationwide. The company's Broward office recently opened a new bike share station at Las Olas and 8th Avenue in Fort Lauderdale. This newest station is one of 27 currently available in Broward County, including Hallandale Beach and Pompano Beach.
One of the main challenges is encouraging commuters to form new habit so B-Cycle provides a number of incentives. In addition to the typical calorie-burning information of stationary bicycles found at health clubs, proprietary software is installed on each bike to track how much carbon a rider didn't emit or gallons of gas they saved. Riders also don't have to worry about maintaining the bikes themselves. Local businesses are encouraged to participate through marketing promotions tied to offering bike-share members certain discounts.
Bike-share membership for a year is $45. That gives bikers an unlimited amount of rides. Shorter memberships can run up to 7 days and cost as little as $25. Single rides are also an option and cost $5 every 30 minutes.
Memberships and guest passes can be pre-purchased online but each station has a kiosk enabling on-site transactions.