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The City of New Orleans

Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu

New Orleans Bike Share

The City of New Orleans, in partnership with Social Bicycles, Inc external link (SoBi), is preparing to launch bike share, a new and affordable transportation system for residents to move through the city. Our bike share program will launch in Fall 2017. Check here regularly for updates and how to participate.


What is bike share?

Bike share is a fun, healthy, and convenient transit option that is already operating in many major cities across the country and around the globe. Bike share technology offers online and on-the-spot opportunities to reserve and rent a bike that will take you where you need to go. At the end of a journey, just drop it off at the nearest bike share station. You can pick up another when you need it next. Bike share is growing rapidly worldwide external link as a popular and fun transit system. It has been shown to encourage people to drive less, support local business, improve street safety, increase personal health, and enjoy the community more. The goal is to provide a seamless, sustainable, and affordable mode of transportation. It is designed to serve all residents, improve neighborhood quality of life, and provide year-round, equitable access to worksites and destinations.

Watch an overview video of how bike share works here external link.

Why is bike share good for New Orleans?

Low-cost transportation system

Makes biking easy to try and more convenient for existing bicyclists

Works with transit

Parking relief

Supports the local economy

Promotes health and wellbeing

It’s safe

Biking is fun!

How did bike share come to New Orleans?

After several years of work by bicycle advocates, a feasibility study external link was commissioned by the City and the New Orleans Regional Planning Commission (RPC) in late 2014 to understand the opportunity and models for bike share in the city. Following the results of that study and subsequent review, the City released a Request for Proposals (RFP) in April 2016 for a privately owned and operated system. Social Bicycles, Inc. (SoBi external link) led the team that was selected as the best proposal and they have completed a 5-year agreement, which was ratified by the City Council on November 3, 2016.

What about the bikes?

SoBi bicycles are designed to be theft and tamper proof. Their technology is unique in that they use a smart bike, which has integrated a computer, GPS and locking device right on the bicycle. This not only allows for lots of data collection and theft protection, but also allows users to track the stats (time, distance and route) of all their rides.


SoBi bikes also offer two unique features

  • Out-of-Hub Locking: This feature allows users to end their trip outside of a hub/station for a nominal fee but also allows users to return an out-of-hub/station bike back to a hub/station for a credit/bonus.
  • Holds: This feature allows users to securely temporarily lock their rented bike and keep it reserved under their account so they can run an errand and ensure that bicycle is there when they are ready.

Where will bike share stations be located?

  • The initial phase will launch with 70 stations and 700 bicycles, with a guaranteed minimum future expansion to 90 stations and 900 bicycles, providing a large coverage opportunity. If the program is successful, there could be even greater expansion.
  • Best practices external link for bike share stations recommend keeping stations within walking distance in order to ensure it is convenient, popular, equitable, and financially sustainable.
  • When selecting site the City and SoBi will look at:
    1. Necessary Conditions
      1. Dense, convenient, and contiguous stations
      2. 24-hour public access
      3. Avoid high traffic/high speed stress
      4. Respect sensitive historic viewsheds
      5. Avoid reoccurring street closures (e.g. parade routes)
    2. Important Factors
      1. Feasibility study external link recommendations
      2. Target existing bike riders
      3. Connect to existing bike infrastructure
      4. Direct connect to transit stops
      5. Consider park-and-ride opportunities
      6. Connect to active community assets (libraries, NORDC, parks)
      7. Connect to employers/destinations (shopping, food, education, health)
    3. Siting Specifications (under development)
    4. Community and Stakeholder Input
  • More details, including engagement opportunities, will be provided in the coming months as the station planning process gets underway in early 2017.

When can I start riding?

The target launch is Fall 2017. Special events and demonstrations will be set up prior to launch, so check back often for updates.

Who’s paying for this and how much will it cost?

The New Orleans bike share program is being entirely supported by private dollars. Sponsorships, advertisements, and rental fees will generate the revenue for the program. SoBi assumes all the financial risk to build, operate, and maintain the system. In exchange, the City of New Orleans has agreed to provide use of the public right-of-way (streets and sidewalks) for stations, where appropriate, and assist with planning, permitting, and community engagement. The details of station siting and engagement opportunities are still being developed.

Fees for bike rental are set at:

  • Monthly Pass: $15 for unlimited trips up to 1 hour of riding a day (hourly rate thereafter).
    You can take as many trips as desired that all together add up to 60 mintues. For example: a 15 minute ride to work in the morning; a 5 minute ride for lunch; a 30 minute ride home with a quick stop to pick up some food = 50 minutes for the day
  • Low-Income Pass: $1.67 per month ($20 per year) for unlimited trips up to 1 hour of riding a day (hourly rate thereafter)
  • Pay-as-you-go: $8 per hour of riding (pro-rated)

Additional packages, such as employer or university passes, will also be considered in the future.

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Last updated: 2/14/2017 3:55:46 PM

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