DENVER, CO (BRAIN)—B-cycle is helping Denver residents increase daily activity and reduce carbon emissions with the country's first citywide bike-sharing system, Denver B-cycle, that launches today.
The program will launch with 500 B-cycles at 50 B-stations around the city, offering a green alternative to cars for short commutes and errands.
"Denver residents embrace healthy and sustainable living, so it's natural that Denver is now home to the first large-scale bike-sharing system in the U.S.," said Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper. "We're confident that Denver can set an example for the whole country and show that bike-sharing is a viable transportation option to help improve the overall health of Americans and reduce our carbon footprint."
B-cycle was formed by a partnership between Humana, Trek Bicycle and Crispin Porter + Bogusky based on a shared belief that bicycles should be a vehicle for positive health and environmental change as well as an important part of a community's transportation ecosystem. Together, the founding partners developed a bike-sharing system designed specifically for U.S. cities, universities and corporate campuses. Denver is B-cycle's first installation.
The B-cycle bikes are equipped with computers to track mileage, calories burned and carbon offsets. Riders can monitor their personal fitness, see their contributions to the city's green efforts and connect with others online at www.Bcycle.com (click on link). To check out bikes, residents and tourists can register on the B-cycle Web site or at B-stations throughout Denver. The program will be managed by the newly formed nonprofit Denver Bike Sharing.
"Bike-sharing was created for the commuter whose transit stop is two miles from the office, the urbanite running errands, and the tourist out sightseeing," said Bob Burns, president of B-cycle and general counsel for Trek Bicycle Corporation, a B-cycle partner. "With this in mind, B-cycle offers a cruiser-style bike that is comfortable for people of all sizes and biking abilities."
First popularized in European cities such as Paris and Barcelona, bike-sharing is quickly expanding around the world in places like Beijing, Montreal and, most recently, Mexico City. Denver is the first of three U.S. cities to set up bike-sharing programs in 2010, with Minneapolis and Boston planning to install systems in the coming months. Dozens more cities, universities and corporations are considering such programs.
Denver B-cycle marks the return of bike-sharing to Denver after a successful pilot program at the Democratic National Convention in 2008. Humana, a B-cycle partner, teamed up with Denver Mayor Hickenlooper, the 2008 Convention Host Committee, the local bicycling community, and the nonprofit cycling advocacy group Bikes Belong to bring bike-sharing to the national political conventions in Denver and Minneapolis-St. Paul. This put bike-sharing on the national stage and grabbed the attention of elected officials and policymakers from around the country–and area residents.
The test programs demonstrated bike-sharing's viability and put in motion plans for permanent systems in both cities. Humana's Innovation Center first brought bike-sharing to its Louisville, Ky., headquarters in 2007 to give Humana's 10,000 associates a healthy transportation alternative. These efforts culminated in the formal expansion of bike sharing through B-cycle.