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Bike Sharing Coming To Downtown Houston

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I've seen this in Paris and a couple of other European cities. I know Chicago and a few other American cities are starting pilot projects this year. Now Houston is going to try this out, too.

Here's how it works. Houston B-cycle will be a membership-driven program, with individual memberships available by the day, week or year. Members have unlimited access to the bikes from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. The first 90 minutes of each usage are free and members can check out the bikes at the various stations and return them to the same station or one of the other two.


When I lived in Downtown, I would have loved this as an idea. But I think I would only have really used it if one of the stations was located near my home. I'm not sure three bicycle stations is enough to really make this work since downtown's residential population is pretty scattered, and most own cars as well.

Hopefully one of the bicycle stations will be near a light rail station. The last time I was in Saint Louis, I got there by Amtrak, hopped onto the local light rail to the big park, grabbed a bicycle and spent the day exploring the city's museums. Then back to the trains and back home. A successful daytrip, and a great experience.

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Hopefully they will add a station in Midtown - I would sign up.

It would be cheaper to just buy a bike off craigslist. Then you could ride it all you want and not get stuck paying for any time over 90 mins. This is for tourists and people who don't wanna or can't bring their bikes into town.

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My college started this about 10 years ago and it has worked well. The school purchased 100 old bikes, rehabbed them, and then painted them in obnoxious colors (purple and orange for the men's college and green and silver for the women's college). The rules are simple; if you see a bike you can use it. There are no locks, codes, memberships, etc... It's all on the honor system.

Now, if that system was tried in Houston, I would give it less than 10 hours before every bike vanished and lots of folks were walking around with $2 bills from C&D.

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