Capital Metro staff present plan to bring Austin BCycle underneath public transit agency’s umbrella

A new partnership between Capital Metro and Austin BCycle could rebrand the bikeshare service as Metro Bike and allow residents to purchase passes to use public transit and the bicycles together. (Courtesy Austin BCycle)
A new partnership between Capital Metro and Austin BCycle could rebrand the bikeshare service as Metro Bike and allow residents to purchase passes to use public transit and the bicycles together. (Courtesy Austin BCycle)

A new partnership between Capital Metro and Austin BCycle could rebrand the bikeshare service as Metro Bike and allow residents to purchase passes to use public transit and the bicycles together. (Courtesy Austin BCycle)

Austin residents could soon be able to buy a one-day pass on their phones to use both ride public transportation and city-owned bicycles.

If Capital Metro and the city of Austin can come to an agreement this summer, the city’s BCycle program would become a Capital Metro service. The city-owned bikeshare program would be rebranded as “Metro Bike” under the new agreement, according to Chad Ballentine, Cap Metro’s Vice President of demand response and innovative mobility.

Bike Share of Austin, the nonprofit that operates BCycle, would continue in that role under the new agreement, according to Ballentine.

“The Metro Bike partnership with the City of Austin is a big deal, I’m excited about it. It’s more than rebranding of the existing program, it really goes to creating a highly visible program that makes a big change for how people travel around our community,” Ballentine told the Cap Metro board of directors May 22.

The BCycle program has been around in Austin since 2013. According to Ballentine, the city owns 500 standard bikes and has 200 e-bikes on loan from a private company. The docking stations are located around downtown and East Austin—and in February 2019, a program launched at The Domain.


In May, Ballentine said, 66% of rides on BCycles were on electric bikes, despite those representing less than 30% of the fleet. Cap Metro is in the process of applying for a federal grant that would fully electrify the BCycle fleet, but Ballentine said the transit agency is not relying on the grant to start the partnership between Cap Metro and the city.

Austin City Council Member Ann Kitchen, who is also a member of the board of the directors, said she is excited about the opportunity the program will bring to more areas of the city.

“If you don’t live in the core, you don’t have access to this [BCycle] program. So expanding it along our transit lines that go deeper out into the community is just going to be a huge plus,” Kitchen said.

Ballentine said Cap Metro plans to come back to the board of directors to finalize an interlocal agreement with the city this summer, and the new program could be introduced this fall.

Editor's Note: The image in this story has been updated to show an Austin BCycle station. The original image showed Domain BCycles.


MOST RECENT

A screen capture of Chief Equity Officer Brion Oaks at a Travis County Commissioners Court meeting
Austin Equity Office asks Travis County to be mindful when administering COVID-19 relief

Chief Equity Officer Brion Oaks named several areas for continued support in relief distribution and COVID-19 test administration.

Austin City Hall was one of several downtown buildings to get vandalized. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Four Austin City Council members publicly call for Police Chief Brian Manley’s resignation

The Austin Police Department has come under heavy scrutiny for how they handled recent protests against police brutality.

Austin is starting the process to redraw the boundaries for its 10 City Council districts. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
For the first time, Austin will redraw its 10 City Council districts

Most of the process will take place in 2020 and 2021, with new boundaries in place by the November 2022 council elections.

SNAP, a federal program overseen in Texas by the HHSC, assists around 1.4 million eligible low-income individuals and families statewide. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Emergency SNAP food benefits extended in Texas during COVID-19 pandemic

SNAP assists around 1.4 million eligible low-income individuals and families in Texas.

Demonstrators marched in the streets in front of the Texas Capitol on May 31. (Chris Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin City Council hears from community on police response to weekend protests

"He is in so much pain, and I can't help him," said the brother of a 16-year-old injured in the weekend's protests.

CMS also unveiled an interactive map that lets users search any nursing home in the U.S. to see its COVID-19 cases. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
CMS reports 321 coronavirus deaths in Texas nursing homes, nearly 32,000 nationwide

CMS also unveiled an interactive map that lets users search any nursing home in the U.S. to its COVID-19 cases.

The annual Texas 4000 ride from Austin to Anchorage has gone virtual this year. (Courtesy Texas 4000)
Texas 4000 ride goes virtual, aims to raise $1 million in fight against cancer

Riders from the University of Texas usually trek from Austin to Anchorage, Alaska, each summer, but they will not make the journey this year due to safety concerns around the coronavirus.

William Nzoiwu protests police brutality against the black community. (Taylor Jackson Buchanan/Community Impact Newspaper)
7 ways Austin-area residents can promote racial equity through volunteering, donation efforts

Looking for a local way to get involved? Here is a roundup of opportunities.

A 323-unit apartment complex will be opening in 2020 off East Riverside Drive in Austin. (Rendering courtesy Aspen Heights Partners)
New 323-unit apartment complex coming to Austin's East Riverside area

Leasing is expected to begin in November for the new building.

Manor Road Peruvian restaurant Yuyo closes permanently

Chef Maribel Rivero is offering recipes and cooking classes through her website.