Bike Share – VCU Launches Rambikes

21 Mar

This week VCU launched a pilot bike share program called Rambikes. The program is starting with 8 black and yellow bikes: 4 stationed at Cabell Library on the Monroe Park campus, and 4 at the Tompkins-McCaw Library on the MCV campus. Bikes can be checked out for 24 hours, lock and helmet included.  (The University of Richmond also has a bike share system as part of its Green Bike Programs).

Hopefully this will be a first step that will lead the city (perhaps in partnership with local universities and other employers?) to establish a city-wide bike share program. What would be better for the 2015 UCI World Cycling Championships than to have a bunch of bikes for all of those visitors and local fans to get around the city!?

Bike share programs have already enjoyed great success in other U.S. cities, including Washington D.C.  New York, Denver, and Minneapolis have recently launched or will soon launch bike share programs. Major cities in Europe and Canada also have bike share systems, as does Mexico City. Despite having 1,200 bikes at 140 stations in the district and Arlington, D.C.’s Capital Bikeshare reportedly has been so popular that it has struggled to keep up with demand.

Capital Bikeshare. Photo by Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz, courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

These programs use portable, solar-powered stations placed in key locations. In D.C., you can get a membership for 24 hours for $7, 3 days for $15, 30 days for $25, or a year for $75.  The key is having lots of stations so that riders can easily pick up a bike and return it to another station near where they need to go.  There are several companies that now set up and run such programs.  The start-up cost is not low, but the long-term benefits are huge.  In D.C. and elsewhere the cost has been shared by local governments and corporate partners.

Just imagine it: all of those employees downtown in business suits riding RVA Bikeshare bikes to lunch or for a spin on the Canal Walk or the Capital Trail, or maybe down to Brown’s Island to dip a toe in the James.  They might just get addicted and get a membership or buy their own bike to get to and from work!

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3 Responses to “Bike Share – VCU Launches Rambikes”

  1. Chris Good March 21, 2012 at 10:50 PM #

    This is genius and one more step in the right direction for RVA! Now we just need a station to match downtown.

    • Donnetta August 5, 2013 at 4:56 PM #

      I would LOVE this to take off in Richmond!!!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Your City is Your Canvas « Bikeable Richmond - April 18, 2012

    […] be interested in doing so in a city other than the one you live in.  As I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, bike share programs are becoming quite numerous and popular in U.S. cities, and our own VCU and […]

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