NEW ORLEANS – Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, in partnership with Social Bicycles and title sponsor Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, celebrated the launch of Blue Bikes, the city’s new transportation option and bike share program. Bike stations are now online and locations can be found at bluebikesnola.com.
Sign up for the Blue Bikes program at bluebikesnola.com or through the app, Social Bicycles.
Beginning today, Blue Bikes will roll out in multiple waves over the following two months to complete the first phase of installing 70 stations and 700 bikes. Once established, Social Bicycles plans to expand the program based on rider demand with a minimum of 90 stations and 900 bikes total.
“Today’s launch marks another step of bringing affordable, and healthy transportation options to every New Orleanian, just like other world-class cities.” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “It is this type of quality public transit that our residents rely on to get them to their jobs, their families, and locations around the City. This not only connects people to different neighborhoods in the City, but also brings New Orleans into the future.”
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana President and CEO Dr. I. Steven Udvarhelyisaid, “Blue Bikes represents our commitment to the city of New Orleans and our dedication to healthy living. We are excited to see Blue Bikes rolling and the potential it has to improve the health and lives of residents. The program also promotes environmental sustainability and increases access to farmers markets and grocery stores so residents in underserved areas can reach healthier foods since Blue Bikes come with large baskets.”
At-Large Councilmember Jason Williams said, “I am so excited for the launch of the City’s bike share program. This innovative service fills some of our transportation gaps and brings services online that many major cities across the globe have enjoyed for years. I am committed to getting all New Orleanians access to this crucial and enjoyable form of connection and mobility.”
At-Large Councilmember Stacey Head said, “I’m so pleased that this project is moving forward. I’ve enjoyed bike share programs in other cities and am glad that our residents and visitors will have this new option to move around our city.”
District B Councilmember and Mayor-Elect Latoya Cantrell said, “I have been looking forward to this launch for some time. I know these bikes will encourage more of us to ride, and contribute to a healthier lifestyle. I’m thrilled the Mayor’s Office was able to get this done. It’s a big win for all of us.”
The bike share program is the result of a robust community outreach process involving residents, partner agencies, institutions, community groups, businesses, and stakeholders. Over 100 participants attended six community workshops in March and April 2017 and provided input on bike share station location maps. In June 2017, residents voted online to provide feedback on bike share station locations that would best serve their transportation needs.
The initial service area was developed to maximize the City’s initial goals of increasing transportation choices, particularly job access, while still providing convenient walking access to one of 70 stations. Almost 10,000 people live and work, and there are over 90,000 jobs total in the service area.
The new bikes have smart-design safety features built in, to lower risks of injury or theft. Some Blue Bikes features are not yet available in any other bike share market in the country. The Blue Bikes will have GPS tracking, automatic front and rear safety lights, and a three-speed internal hub. Riders can keep track of their miles pedaled, calories burned and carbon offset, and they can use the Blue Bikes app to share their stats with friends. All bikes will be equipped with a sturdy basket riders can use to carry groceries and other belongings.
Bike share is a fun, healthy and convenient transit option that offers online and on-the-spot opportunities to reserve and rent a bike throughout the City. 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 work sites and destinations.
Studies of bike share programs across the country show an increase in cycling and the health benefits that accompany it. These benefits are not just limited to the actual program. Cities with bike share programs also see an overall increase in bicycles sales, with part-time riders converting to full-time commuters.
The fees for bike rental are:
- 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 minutes. For example, a 15-minute ride to work in the morning, a 5-minute ride for lunch and a 30-minute ride home with a quick stop to pick up some food totals 50 minutes for the day.
- Reduced Fare Pass: $20 per year for unlimited trips up to 1 hour of riding a day (hourly rate thereafter). This is currently available to SNAP recipients using their Louisiana Purchase card at sign up. Additional qualifying opportunities are under development.
- Pay-as-you-go: $8 per hour of riding (pro-rated).
- Sign up for the Blue Bikes program: at bluebikesnola.com or through the app, Social Bicycles. Additionally, a cash payment option will be available starting in early 2018.
New Orleans is growing rapidly as a bicycling city. The city was recognized as a bicycle-friendly community in fall 2014 by the League of American Bicyclists. Recently, New Orleans was selected by People for Bikes as one of 10 cities to participate in their Big Jump Project to reimagine bicycle infrastructure. For more information, please visit http://www.peopleforbikes.org/placesforbikes/landing/the-big-jump-project.
For additional information about the bike share program, please visit http://www.nola.gov/bikeshare.
For more information on Blue Bikes visit www.BlueBikesNola.com or follow Blue Bikes on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.