BCycle, which develops and delivers best-in-class bike share systems worldwide, announced today that its proprietary system helped set several usage records for the first and only bike share program in the United States to be funded through university student fees.
BCycle’s newest system, Great Rides Bike Share, in Fargo, North Dakota, is a collaboration between the city of Fargo and North Dakota State University (NDSU). The system has been rolling for a month, and it has experienced unprecedented and record-setting usage, including more than:
- 20,000 checkouts to date, averaging about 1,000-1,250 checkouts per day
- 4,300 student members
- 1,500 trips
- 170 trips being checked out in one hour
- 30+ trips recorded on several bikes in one day with no fewer than 14 trips being recorded per bike, per day
“We’re pleased that Fargo’s bike share system is off to an exceptional start. The extremely high usage and membership redemption rates demonstrate that our enterprise software and proven hardware are performing well,” said BCycle President Bob Burns. “It has been rewarding to work with Great Rides Bike Share, the city of Fargo and North Dakota State University to meet the system’s unique needs.”
BCycle developed new MFRID technology for Great Rides Bike Share, and worked with NDSU to create a software solution that allows students to use their Bison Card student IDs to access the system with a click of the mouse or tap of the screen.
“It is incredibly exciting to see this program take form and make an impact not only in our transportation fabric but also for recreation,” said NDSU Student Body President Sarah Russell. “I have yet to see an NDSU student on a Bike Share bike that isn’t smiling. Friendships are being made ‘on bikes’ simply because the program provides an activity to get together to do. Bike Share finds its way into conversations, social media, community collaboration and so much more, so we are very proud that NDSU has embraced this with open arms.”
Great Rides Bike Share is the newest member of the BCycle bike share family. BCycle systems are located in more than 40 cities and municipalities in the United States and South America.
BCycle’s unique non-profit operations model requires a collaborative approach. In Fargo, the city and university agreed to bring a bike share program to the community that would incorporate the school. They invited the non-profit Great Rides and other community members to provide input and selected BCycle as the bike share system provider.
“We thought we were creating a transportation model, but in many ways, we’re seeing a recreational model emerge. It’s exhilarating to see college students pedaling for the pure joy of riding,” said Tom Smith, steering committee member of Great Rides Bike Share, owner of Great Northern Bicycle Co. and cycling advocate.
“Technology is an important component of this success along with lowering barriers to get students on bikes,” said Sara Watson Curry, director of operations, Great Rides Bike Share. “Each check out and ride show our community that biking is another great way to move and fun.”
Bike Share Great Rides’s system includes 101 bicycles throughout 11 station locations in downtown Fargo and NDSU’s main and downtown campuses. The university and its students fund 30 percent of the system with the remaining 70 percent of capital funding coming from other sources and sponsorships.
“It’s been quite a ride since inviting BCycle to display the system at Streets Alive, which resulted in pitching the idea the fall of 2011 to Cam Knutson and NDSU Student Government,” said Fargo City Commissioner Mike Williams. “Thanks to optimism, hard work and tenacity of the great student leaders and incredible community partners, Great Rides Bike Share is now a GREAT RIDE for thousands.”