Friday, July 9, 2010

Bike sharing coming to New Orleans?

Posted By on Fri, Jul 9, 2010 at 8:24 PM

B-cycle, a bike-sharing and rental company, is accepting votes to determine its next home. So far, New Orleans holds the No. 1 position with more than 16,000 votes. (Billings, Mont. is at second; Austin, Texas at third; Brooklyn, New York at fourth; and Helena, Mont. at fifth.) You can vote for "Who Wants it More" on its website by entering your ZIP code.

The company (a partnership with Humana, Trek Bicycle Corporation and Crispin Porter + Bogusky) launched its first installation — the first program of its kind in the U.S. — in Denver on April 22, with 500 bicycles available at 50 stations throughout the city. Next up are Chicago and San Antonio.

Customers can sign up for a membership — whether it's just for a day or for a year — and a usage fee, typically broken up into 30 minute increments, with the first being free. Members can unlock any bike from any of its kiosks and return them at any of the kiosks, whenever — even when they're closed. Membership cards are fitted with RFID chips and track a bicyclist's distance, calories burned and carbon offsets. Here's how it works:

And in City Park tomorrow, Saturday, July 10, Joy Ride Bike Rentals opens with a blessing of the fleet, beginning at 11 a.m. Bikes are available 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The bikes are from Globe's Carmel line, lightweight cruiser-style bikes available in both men's and women's designs. Hourly rates are $8 for adults,$6 children. Daily rates are $30; $80 for three days; and $180 for five days.

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