It's going to get a little more convenient to get around Houston on a bike — even if you don't own one.
Houston will triple its bike share system, Houston B-cycle, over the next two years, adding 71 stations with 568 bikes. New areas targeted for expansion include the Texas Medical Center, with 14 stations and 107 bikes, and 21 new stations and 248 bikes at the University of Houston Main Campus, Texas Southern University, UH-Downtown and Rice University.
The system currently has 31 stations, largely located in and around downtown, Midtown, Montrose, and the Heights, with 225 bikes.
The expansion will be paid for by a $3.5 million grant from the Federal Highway Administration and $880,000 from Houston Bike Share, the local nonprofit that administers the Houston B-cycle program. When completed, it will bring the total to 102 stations and 793 bikes around Houston.
“The expansion of the B-cycle system will bring bike sharing into new neighborhoods and to new users,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said in a statement. “As I’ve said, we need a paradigm shift in transportation away from single-occupancy motor vehicles. Making cycling more accessible by building a strong bike sharing system is a critical component of that change.”
Houston B-cycle is a bike share program that provides a quick transportation alternative for getting around the city. With a base "membership fee'"of $5 daily, $15 weekly or $65 per year, bikes can be checked out from stations for free for the first 60 minutes and riders are charged $2 for each subsequent half-hour.
Since January 1, cyclists have made 73,577 trips and traveled 508,044 miles. Houston Bike Share CEO Carter Stern estimates Houstonians are on track to exceed 100,000 trips by the end of 2016.