The city’s two-season-old public bike system is gearing up for a major expansion in spring 2014. Kansas City B-cycle, Powered by Blue KC, will add at least eight new stations in the Plaza and Westport districts, and hopes to add more in surrounding neighborhoods, bringing the benefits of bike share to new areas of the city. B-cycle is turning to the public, as well as local businesses and institutions, to help it reach its goal as its 2014 season opens.
“Kansas City B-cycle is ready to grow, and we want its expansion to be truly supported by Kansas Citians,” says Eric Rogers, executive director of BikeWalkKC, the local bicycle & pedestrian advocacy group that operates B-cycle.
The bike share system–which currently consists of 12 self-service stations in River Market, Downtown, and Crossroads–will add at least eight new stations in the Plaza and Westport as its 2014 season opens in March. The stations will generally be sited along 47th St. and Westport Rd. B-cycle says density and existing bike-friendliness makes these districts a good fit for bike share. It is also pursuing a further six locations in Midtown, Brookside, Waldo, and the 18th and Vine district.
B-cycle says expansion will bring the benefits of bike share with it. In its first two years of operation, the system proved an effective tool for increasing health and reducing environmental impact among its users — across 9,600 trips, users burned 1.1 million calories and saved 27,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. Leaders in other cities with bike share system have touted the transportation alternative’s affordability to users and ability to attract new residents.
“The pattern is clear — expanding into new neighborhoods will benefit residents, visitors, and the wider city alike,” says Rogers. “That’s why we’re excited to be moving into two of our best and busiest districts.”
B-cycle also touts the low pricetag of its expansion. An individual bike share station with 11 bike docks costs $50,000. This pales in comparison to the cost of one mile of urban freeway which runs from $19.6 million to $78 million for a four lane mile.
“Bike share is a huge and growing asset to each city where its found — with B-cycle, individuals can give directly to make the system all it can be to KC.”
Kansas City B-cycle’s campaign ends March 1. More information on the B-cycle’s expansion can be found at bikesharekc.com