Charlotte City Council approves expansion of bicycle program

Bicycles are all over uptown Charlotte, and soon you could see more of them.

City Council voted Monday night in favor of helping B-Cycle, a bicycle rental program, expand. That means 25 more bike racks around the city, roughly doubling the number of B-Cycles.   “They're anywhere and everywhere, and you just pick one up and go,” said Bill Sowa, a Charlotte resident.

Victor Xie says he uses B-Cycle every day. “I'm taking advantage of it. I think it's worth it,” he said.  

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The city will now contribute $450,000, an expense B-Cycle would eventually reimburse. The company would also get about $1.5 million in federal funds.  

“The bikes, they're super convenient,” said Jeremy Russell, “I think it's good for tourists when they come into town if they want to take a look at Charlotte. For me, I've just never really had a use for them.”  

Currently, B-Cycle has 214 bikes throughout uptown and the surrounding neighborhoods. The non-profit has some competition, though, and bike share is turning into bike wars.  

“I don't know too much about LimeBike,” said Sowa, “but it seems like they got a pretty good model here, dollar a ride.”  

Cheaper for-profit options such as Spin and Limebike launched a month ago; they rolled 1,000 bikes into the Queen City. Charlotte B-Cycle ridership has grown from 34,000 trips in 2014 to 56,000 in 2016.