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  • Madison's BCycle Bike Share Booming Amid Pandemic

    by Steven Elbow | Jun 25, 2020

    e-bike (copy)

    Since going electric, Trek’s BCycle is booming, and the coronavirus crisis isn’t hurting business a bit.

    In fact, company officials say, it’s fueling the bike share’s popularity.

    “Bike sharing as a whole has seen increased ridership since the COVID-19 pandemic began,” said BCycle spokesman Tyler Britz in an email, “in part because people were looking for an alternative to traditional, crowded, public transit options and ride sharing.”

    It's part of a national trend. When cabin fever from the lockdown set in and commuters began to fear contracting the COVID-19 virus on public transportation, bike sales in general exploded, causing worldwide supply shortages. According to the business analytics firm NPD, bike sales have seen double- and triple-digit increases this year.

    But not everyone wants to buy, and some think that bike share programs, and cycling in general, will gain a stronger foothold in the American transportation system because of the pandemic.   

    BCycle has taken measures to ease concerns about sharing bikes during the COVID-19 era by regularly sanitizing bikes and bike stations, "as a way to reassure riders that we were taking further precautions to keep our community safe," Britz said. 

    It was a year ago that BCycle made Madison the first of the 37 cities it serves to go all electric. BCycle users embraced the new bikes, racking up 231,000 rides in 2019, compared with 103,000 in 2018, and adding 7,000 riders for a total of 17,000.

    So far this year, the company reports nearly a threefold increase in trips  compared with last year. Britz said the company plans to meet the growing demand by adding 50 to 100 new bikes to its current fleet of nearly 300 by the end of the season.

    BCycle is also adding bike stations, which now number 46. The company recently added a new facility at the Marling Apartments in the booming East Washington Avenue corridor, and reinstalled a station on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard that had been removed because of construction. The station at Memorial Union on the UW campus is being expanded.

    Britz said other stations are in the planning stages.

    Nationally, the company plans to add Santa Barbara, California, to its list of cities by the end of the year.

    With its hilly terrain, the conversion of the fleet in Madison to e-bikes was a natural fit, Britz said, and Madison remains BCycle’s only all-electric fleet, though e-bikes have been added to traditional fleets in Austin, Houston, and Milwaukee.

    "At the end of the day, I think people are seeing the benefits that bike sharing has, electric or not, on their health, community, and environment as a whole," Britz said. "People becoming more aware of the environmental impacts they can have is definitely playing a role in increased popularity of bike sharing."

    Written by Steven Elbow - The Capital Times 


  • How Bike Share Programs Might Make Cycling Safer

    by Nicholas Bakalar for The New York Times | May 20, 2020
    Credit: Indego

    Could bike share programs lead to greater cycling safety?

    In April 2015, Philadelphia introduced a bike share program. By 2019, there were more than 1,300 bikes and 400 pedal-assisted electric bicycles available. People used them for about 50,000 trips a month.

    Before the introduction of the bike share program, the rate of bicycle-car accidents had been gradually increasing. By May 2015, the month after the introduction of the program, the rate was twice that of January 2010.

    But the researchers, writing in the American Journal of Public Health, found that from that time through the end of 2018, the rate decreased by an average of 13 percent a year, despite the increases over those years in the number of bicycles on city streets, and even though Philadelphia made no major infrastructure changes, like adding many protected bike lanes.

    Read more at The New York Times
  • More People Pedal to Work in Bike-Share Cities

    by Kim Eckart-Washington for Futurity | May 20, 2020
    "Bike-share systems can drive a population to commute by bike,"says Dafeng Xu. (Credit: Metro - Los Angeles/Flickr)

    Before the COVID-19 pandemic, bike commuting increased 20% in cities that introduced bike share systems, according to a new study.

  • Let’s Ride It Out: Explore Bike Share is Here for the Long Run

    by Anton Mack for The Memphis Flyer | Apr 29, 2020
    Explore Bike Share

    As I grow accustomed to the uncertainty of our current situation, I recognize and applaud the examples of long-term continuity in our culture.

    read more
  • BCycle Launches Electric Assist Bike Share Bike on Heels of Company’s 10-year Anniversary

    by BCycle | Nov 12, 2018
    BCycle Electric 1

    Waterloo, Wisconsin – Nov. 8, 2018 – Building on a 10-year tradition of experience and innovation, BCycle proudly introduces the bike share industry’s newest and most innovative electric bike – the BCycle Electric.

    Starting this week, BCycle will pilot the new electric bike in six locations this fall and winter to include programs in Austin, Texas, Broward County, Florida, Cincinnati, Ohio, Madison, Wisconsin, Los Angeles, California, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    The new electric bike differentiates BCycle with the following best-in-class features:

    • Bosch motor and display
    • Shimano 3-speed internal hub
    • Seamless integration into existing BCycle stations


    BCycle was founded in 2008 and remains the only continuously operating U.S. bike share provider during the past decade. It has grown from launching the first system in Denver in 2010 with 300 first-generation bikes to now with more than 15,000 bikes across the United States – from first-generation bikes to smart bikes to the latest introduction of electric bikes.

    “The first 10 years are just the beginning,” said Morgan Ramaker, BCycle’s new Executive Director. “BCycle continues to grow and lead – thanks to proven experience and success, innovative and best-in-class products, and superior customer service. We’ve always believed in the power of the bicycle to change the world – the BCycle Electric powers up those possibilities even more.”

    The electric bike is the latest in a string of innovations from BCycle in the past decade, including:

    • Partnering with community stakeholders in programs ranging from small to large, private to public
    • Classic systems with smart stations
    • Smart bike with turn-by-turn navigation
    • Mobile app checkout
    • Transit and student integration


    BCycle riders have taken more than 17 million trips. All BCycle bikes are designed by Waterloo, Wisconsin-based Trek.

    For more information on BCycle, visit and download the BCycle app in the App Store or Google Play Store.

    ABOUT BCYCLE Headquartered in Waterloo, Wisconsin, BCycle develops and delivers best-in-class bike share systems and is committed to providing an environmentally sustainable transportation alternative for cities. It’s BCycle’s mission to partner with campuses, corporations and municipalities of all sizes to implement and maintain bike share systems that complement and improve existing transportation infrastructure. The company does so with a suite of products that make riding the easiest and most enjoyable part of people’s day, and an incredibly impactful part of any public transportation network. For more information, visit

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