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

Travis County is approaching Stage 5 risk with 69 new hospitalizations July 6. (Community Impact staff)
Travis County reports 7 new coronavirus deaths July 6

Travis County is appoaching Stage 5 risk with 69 new hospitalizations July 6 and 64.6 per day this past week.

A photo of two women walking on a trail
Travis County reopens some parks after holiday weekend, warns more closures could come

Seventeen Travis County parks will reopen following Fourth of July weekend closures.

Austin Community College President and CEO Richard Rhodes
Austin Community College resumes some in-person classes July 6

The district is continuing to offer most classes online, but some classes have resumed in-person activities.

Pharmacist Emily Smith opens a cooler for a patient to place their self-swab coronavirus test at a Walmart drive-thru testing site in McKinney on June 29. (Shelby Tauber/The Texas Tribune)
Poll says Texans' hopes for quick return to pre-coronavirus life are fading

Texans remain focused on the coronavirus pandemic and are less optimistic about returning the state to normal quickly, according to polling by the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller recently backed a movement calling for the reopening of winery and distillery tasting rooms and brewery and brewpub taprooms. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Agriculture Commissioner joins voices calling for reopening of tasting rooms, taprooms

In a letter to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller said demand from distilleries and breweries provides an important revenue stream to the state's farmers.

Rodney Redes
With its first signing, Austin FC looks to develop a young forward

With the beginning of its inaugural season less than a year out, professional soccer club Austin FC has officially begun building its roster.

Volunteers help load food at an event hosted by the Central Texas Food Bank at Del Valle High School in April. (Courtesy Central Texas Food Bank)
Central Texas Food bank announces four drives in July

Families in need can pick up free produce, milk, protein and shelf-stable items, as available, on four dates.

Travis County added 670 new coronavirus cases July 4-5.
Austin metro COVID-19 hospitalizations rise to 446 after holiday weekend

Travis County added 670 new coronavirus cases July 4-5.

Overall in Travis County there has been a total of 10,695 cases since mid-March.. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Travis County adds 571 COVID-19 cases; new restriction put in place ahead of holiday weekend

Overall in Travis County there has been a total of 10,695 cases since mid-March.

The First Street Foundation's dataset includes a forecast models that anticipate the effects of climate change and sea level rise. (Screenshot via First Street Foundation)
Analysis: FEMA may be undercounting national total flood risk by as much as 70%

The new dataset includes an interactive Flood Factor dashboard that anyone can use to assess the risk of flooding over a 30-year period for any address.

A photo of a person wearing a medical mask
Travis County Judge supports state masking order, says county will enforce

After Gov. Greg Abbot's statewise mandate to wear masks that cover mouth and nose, Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe voiced his support.