55 electric pedal assist bicycles available for short trips with day, month and yearly passes
Riverside, Calif. – The City of Riverside launched its first bike share program, Bike Riverside, today (11/2), giving the public access to 55 electric pedal assist bikes that can be used for short trips in the historic downtown and adjoining areas.
Just finished up at the courthouse and heading to the Mission Inn? There’s a bike waiting for you. Classes over at Riverside City College and you want to grab a bite at the Food Lab? A bike will get you there.
Bike Riverside provides a mode of transportation that is affordable, non-polluting and easy to use. The pedal assist function makes the bikes attractive to people who are not used to cycling. Just start peddling and the bike’s electric motor kicks in, helping you get to your destination faster.
Mayor Rusty Bailey encouraged residents to take advantage of the bikes during a ribbon cutting event Friday morning because success with the initial program could enable it to spread further across Riverside.
“This truly is a proud moment that has been many years in the works,” Mayor Bailey said. “We know that pedestrian and bike traffic are major sales drivers for small businesses, and we look forward to seeing local residents, tourists, and conventioneers using the bikes to visit shops, restaurants and museums.”
Bike Riverside is available in a variety of options, including a $2 single trip (45 minutes), a $6 day pass (unlimited 45-minute trips for 24 hours), or a $20 monthly pass (unlimited 45-minute trips for a month). Users sign up on the website — Bikeriverside.org – or use the mobile app, or pay at a payment kiosk where they pick up the bike.
A Founding Member annual pass can be purchased for $90 and includes unlimited 60-minute trips for a year. This pass can only be purchased at Bikeriverside.org. If users exceeds the 45-minute or 60-minute trips, there is a charge of $2.00 per 30 minutes.
“This is an affordable option that gives people another way to get out of their personal vehicles,” City Councilmember Mike Gardner said. “When fully operational, it will help us solve the ‘first mile, last mile’ issue that sometimes keeps people from using transit.”
The program service area consists of seven stations, including: the Judicial Plaza at Main and Eleventh; Riverside City College, Magnolia at Terracina; Fox Plaza, Sixth at Market; Riverside Convention Center, Main at Fifth; Downtown Metrolink Station (coming soon), Vine at Metrolink Station Pedestrian Entrance; Orange and University; Mission Inn and Main. All are either operable now or will be by Saturday afternoon.
The program provides a good transportation alternative when travelling to a place that is a little too far to walk, but not worth getting in the car for, City Councilmember Andy Melendrez said.
“We are telling our surrounding cities and our visitors who we are through our bike share program,” Melendrez said. “This is an important statement for the City of Riverside.”
The City Council approved an agreement in April with Bewegen Technologies Inc. to plan and implement a bike share program. The project cost, about $334,000 is funded by a variety of grants designed to improve air quality and reduce traffic.
Bewegen established the fee structure, which is roughly 20 percent lower than in cities like Santa Cruz, San Diego, Los Angeles and Long Beach.
“This will offer residents and visitors a fun way to explore our city,” Public Works Director Kris Martinez said.
Bikes are equipped with GPS technology to curb theft and vandalism. Riders who damage bikes will be charged the actual cost of repairing the bike.
The bike share program is the next step in Riverside’s effort to create a sustainable and active community and set the stage for future bike-related programs. The bike share program is a priority in city plans to further economic development and reduce greenhouse gas production.