bike share is coming to st. louis!
What is bike share? How does it work?
Bike Share is a network of shared bicycles available for short-term use. It combines the convenience and flexibility of a private vehicle with the accessibility and reliability of mass transit. Dockless Bike Share doesn't use stations like the traditional systems in Chicago or Washington, D.C. Instead, you can find the bikes through GPS locators on a smart phone app or by calling a phone number, and they lock to themselves by clamping the back wheel, allowing the bikes to be more widely available throughout the city. The bikes can be parked on the strip of sidewalk between the walking area and the street, and at public bike racks. They cost around $1 for 30 minutes, with discounts for people of low income and students.
More than 25 cities around the U.S. have implemented dockless bike sharing, including Washington, DC, Durham, NC, Seattle, WA, and Dallas, TX.
Why would St. Louis want bike share?
Bike share is for everyone. Local residents, downtown office workers, commuters, visitors, college students, and tourists all benefit from the convenience of bike share mobility.
In St. Louis, this translates to fewer cars on the road (particularly in downtown areas) thus reducing traffic congestion and improving air quality. It also saves time by making short trips in congested areas faster on bike than they would be in a car or on foot. Bike share serves as an modern amenity for attracting residents and employers, as well as for visitors, boosting the local tourism economy. It also provides a "last mile" option for transit users, providing a convenient (and fun!) way to access a transit stop or to travel from a transit stop to a final destination. Plus it keeps local residents moving, which boosts physical activity levels and provides important public health benefits and health care cost savings.
bike share is coming
You may see bike share in St. Louis in April 2018. The City of St. Louis' Board of Alderman approved an ordinance allowing the City to permit bike share companies to operate in the City. View the permit requirements here. The permit regulates the companies to make sure they keep our community orderly and extend the opportunity of using bike share throughout the city.
The City is currently reviewing permit applications and then the companies will bring 500-750 bikes to St. Louis in April for a launch event. They can expand by 350 bikes per month until they reach 2,500 bikes. There may be more than one company that receives a permit to operate - similar to how Uber and Lyft both operate here.
You can expect to see bikes in areas of dense activity at first, like around Downtown, Forest Park, Central West End, and Tower Grove Park. However, the bikes will go where riders take them - they can be parked anywhere in St. Louis at bike racks or out of the way between the sidewalk and the street.
Additionally, 20% of the bikes will be available in target neighborhoods to the north between Delmar and Natural Bridge, and in the Dutchtown South area.
Photo Credit: Communiy Builders Network of Metro St. Louis