The bike sharing program in Fort Worth is growing at a faster rate than even the program director expected.
As the program moves into its fourth year, the 2016 usage numbers are strong.
"We didn't expect quite a 35 percent jump,” executive director Kristen Camareno said. "We usually anticipate 10 to 15 percent year-over-year which is what we've seen since we launched in 2013."
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2016 usage benchmarks include:
• 55,841 trips
• 286,149 miles
• 270,690 carbon offsets
• 11.4 million calories burned
“We’re about average. Our system size compared to all bike share systems in the US is 25th out of 118,” Camareno said. “We have a pretty decent-sized system and I just allows for more room to grow in terms of ridership.”
There are 45 docking stations and 350 bikes in the city.
“So, all you do is you have an annual membership card. You keep that in your wallet and you can check out a bike at any time. You just swipe your card in front of the station,” regular rider Gannon Gries explained. “Then you have up to an hour where you can ride around before you have to check it into another station.”
Bike share participants, like Gries, use the program for a number of reasons including health, thriftiness and environmentalism.
“It mostly convenience though because there are stations all over downtown, the cultural district [and] Southside — everywhere that I normally go,” he said. “Most times I will park my car at the office downtown and then do the [bicycle] back and forth and that way I have the car at the office if I need to go to meetings.”
Gries said he is looking forward to the future of the program and even more availability.
“I would love to see it continue to expand. I would love to see more stations on the west side of Fort Worth,” Gries said. “I think there are also some good opportunities on the east side and a little bit more as the north side starts to develop.”
“We have plans to add two more stations this year,” Camareno said. “One will be in front of the Shamblee Library on the east side of Fort Worth just on the other side of [Interstate] 35 and the other will be at the Waterside Development over on the Trinity River.”