As much as I love the idea of bike sharing, I haven’t personally had too many pleasant experiences with it. That’s not anything against the bike sharing programs as much as it is against the cities that it’s often found in. Many times the roads won’t have dedicated bike lines and, if they do, there usually isn’t any sort of barrier between you (the bike rider) and the cars flying by. But, when a bike sharing system works, it tends to be an amazing thing for the community it’s in.
Vail, Colorado, is an example of one of those communities where bike sharing seems to work. According to the Better Bike Share Partnership, in 2022, the Shift Bike bike sharing system was launched in the mountain town after a trial run featuring 12 bikes was found to be quite successful in 2020. The system spreads out through the entire Eagle-Vail metropolitan district and into the Town of Avon, featuring 90 bike and 20 station hubs through Drop Mobility.
One of the main focuses of the program has been figuring out how to ensure that people are using the bikes to get from point A to point B, rather than taking them on longer recreational rides like they’re full blown rentals. To do so, they implemented a pay-as-you-go plan, charging riders $3 for 30 minutes of ride time and 40 cents for every minute after that.
Those who work, live, or own property in Eagle County, however, can receive the Locals Only subscription, costing $25/month or $100/season and providing 60 minutes of included ride time a day plus 15 cents for every minute after.
“It really makes it affordable and user-friendly for everyone. Whether you’re using it to commute for work, social engagements, happy hours, or grocery shopping — whatever your needs are — hopefully this is providing an alternative transportation solution.” – Town of Vail’s environmental sustainability manager Beth Markham
Leading into the summer of 2023, the program will increase to 155 bikes and 33 stations with the help of a $50,000 from Colorado’s Department of Transportation.
Image Credit: Shift Bike via Instagram