Fort Worth Rolls Out Bike Sharing Today

Categories: News

FortWorthBikeShare.jpg
Despite some halting progress on implementing its two-year-old bike plan, Dallas remains a national laggard when it comes to bike friendliness.

Meanwhile, our neighbor to the west has been climbing the cycling ranks, quickly implementing its own expansion of cycling infrastructure. And, last summer, Fort Worth won close to $1 million federal transportation funds for a bike sharing program.

The rubber finally hits the road today. After months of preparation and planning, Fort Worth Bike Sharing goes live. Here's what you need to know:

What's the point?

Bike sharing operates on the idea that, in relatively dense urban settings where driving/parking is impractical, bicycles offer a quick and convenient way for people to cover distances that can't be comfortably walked. Bike sharing allows people to take these trips without actually owning a bike.

How does it work?

Pretty simple, really. Buy a membership online http://fortworthbikesharing.org/information/ or at a designated B-cycle kiosk (they range from $8 for 24 hours to $80 for a full year); check out a bike from one of the 30 docking stations that dot downtown, Near Southside, and the Cultural District; pedal; return to the nearest docking station. The first half hour is free, the second 30 minutes is $1.50. Each additional half hour is $3.

What's to keep me from stealing the bikes?

Aside from the fact that the program's 300 Treks are specially designed and painted to look like nothing you'll find at your local bike shop, they're all equipped with GPS so that burly, spandex-clad enforcers can track down any missing vehicles. Plus, stealing bikes is a pretty douchey thing to do.

When's Dallas going to get its bike sharing program?

No plans yet but, based on the city's sprawl and spotty cycling track record, it'll probably be about the time humans develop teleportation and render wheeled transport obsolete.


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13 comments
johnboy33
johnboy33

I looked at the web site. Seems much cheaper just to buy a bike than it is to buy a membership from them. The site seems to indicate that you have to buy a membership plus pay an hourly usage fee. You could buy a decent used bike cheaper than the cost of the annual membership fee alone.

Guaranteed to lose the city money.


BushwoodSmithie
BushwoodSmithie

Dallas was actually ahead of the curve. there was a bike sharing depot at the northern end of the Katy Trail. You can still see the bike lockers at http://goo.gl/maps/FjdV1

The project ended very quickly when all the bikes were stolen.

WylieH
WylieH

Houston, San Antonio and Mexico City (among others) already have successful bike sharing programs in place.  Austin and Oklahoma City are rolling their versions out this year.

By the end of this year, Dallas will be the only major city in the Southwestern U.S. without a bike sharing program either in place or well on the way towards implementation.


Daniel
Daniel

Myrna's right. The "dense urban core," such as it is, of Dallas is  place where they'll steal a potted plant or an Adirondack chair right off your porch. The bikes would be stolen, vandalized, stripped of their parts and thrown half-mangled into dank alleyways just for kicks.  

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

This plan has worked beautifully in Europe for decades, but, at the risk of being negative, I think we'll see a lot of theft of the bikes here, whether it's "douchey" or not. 

dfwheathen
dfwheathen

@johnboy33 Not accurate. You can get one without a membership. They're meant for quick trips. So if you were going to pay for an annual membership then yes you should just buy a bike.

WylieH
WylieH

@Daniel Bike sharing has worked very well in Mexico City, a place with significant theft problems.

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

Bike locks and GPS follow up. Doubt it.

It's across the pond where they have the problems with the program.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@Sharon_Moreanus It only takes a few seconds to strip a bike down and leave nothing but a frame with the GPS pinging away for the cops to find.

dfwheathen
dfwheathen

@RTGolden1 @Sharon_Moreanus Have you guys seen this bikes? No one will be stealing them unless it's an intentional act of vandalism. Anyone who wants to get a dime from stealing will go after a normal bike.

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