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Making Houston more bike-friendly: B-cycle gets big-money sponsor, plans big expansion

Making Houston more bike-friendly: B-cycle gets big-money sponsor, plans big expansion

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Houston B-cycle is expanding in downtown and other central districts in Phase II.  Photo by Katya Horner

It has been less than a year since the City of Houston first introduced its bike share program, and B-cycle is already increasing its initial three-station service area and 18-bicycle fleet with a second phase. 

On Wednesday, Mayor Annise Park announced a partnership with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX), which has committed $750,000 to help further expand the program within downtown Houston and introduce its membership-driven bike share system to other neighborhoods. 

"Supporting Houston's Bike Share Program is part of our commitment to the Texas cities where we live, play and work," said Bert Marshall, president of BCBSTX, in a statement.

"We hope this investment will help Houston children and families, not only find more convenient transportation, but get healthy and stay healthy through increased, fun physical activity," he continued. 

These funds and ARRA stimulus dollars from the U.S. Department of Energy will go toward Phase II, which ups the total number of self-service stations from three to 24 and increases the number of bikes from 18 to 200. Sixteen of those stations will be located downtown, with outposts added in Midtown, Montrose and the Museum District — four of them at key METRORail stops.

Phase II will launch in March of this year. 

Remaining BCBSTX funds, sustainability director Laura Spanjian explained to CultureMap, will go toward Phase III. Currently in the planning process, that expansion will include the Texas Medical Center, local universities and additional neighborhoods.

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