- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 6, 2016

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - More people are taking advantage of a Des Moines bike sharing program, and its backers say they want to expand by installing more kiosks in the city’s downtown and outside the core area.

The BCycle program, started in 2010 by the Des Moines Bicycle Collective, grew to 10 kiosks last summer, according to The Des Moines Register (https://dmreg.co/2g6v3pU ). Jeremy Lewis, the collective’s executive director, told the city council on Monday that ridership has soared by 45 percent since the expansion.

Now the group wants to double the program’s size starting with a kiosk near the front doors of the new downtown Hy-Vee grocery store and plans to expand to Drake University.

“We want to expand outside the urban core and make it up to Drake University, which will be an absolute game changer for our system,” Lewis said.

The collective has raised $450,000 in private money to double the number of stations next year. Each kiosk, which can accommodate 13 bikes, costs about $35,000.

The collective also is seeking a partnership with the city’s bus system that would include combining bus shelters and BCycle kiosks. Later, the group hopes to create an all-access pass that would enable bus riders to also use the bicycles.

Under the program, riders pay $3 to rent a bike for 30 minutes.

Councilman Chris Coleman complimented the program and expressed surprise the system seemed to be working so well.

“I think this is the kind of thing we could get complaints about and I’ve never heard any complaints about a bike not working,” Coleman said.

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Information from: The Des Moines Register, https://www.desmoinesregister.com


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