The City of Austin and Capital Metro have partnered to revamp the Austin BCycle bike-share program. It’s now called MetroBike, a sign of integration into the Capital Metro transit system.
The partnership promises more electric bikes and stations, as well as an expansion of the program beyond Austin’s urban core.
“This partnership with the City of Austin and Austin BCycle is a key asset for our community and a great support for broader transportation and mobility options that work well together,” Sharmila Mukherjee, Capital Metro’s executive vice president of planning and development, said in a statement. “With bicycle ridership increasing across the nation, the collaboration couldn’t come at a better time.”
Riders are now able to pay to use the bikes through the Cap Metro app, where they can also purchase joint passes for MetroBike and bus and rail service.
The program currently has about 500 regular bikes and 200 e-bikes. The e-bikes have proven pretty popular, helping the program rebound to pre-pandemic levels faster than expected. They're also used more than the regular bikes. Capital Metro has applied for a federal grant that would help fund a full conversion of the fleet to e-bikes.
The partnership is also a sign of continued coordination between the City of Austin and Capital Metro on transportation policy and infrastructure improvements.
“We’ve taken many steps this year to create a better active transportation network in the city – from implementing protected bike lanes on Webberville Road to expanding bike and scooter parking downtown,” Austin Transportation Director Rob Spillar said in a statement. “The MetroBike expanded fleet and options improve mobility for all.”
The nonprofit Bikeshare of Austin is still a part of the program, running the daily operations of MetroBike. Cap Metro will oversee planning and program oversight, while the City of Austin will oversee other functions like right-of-way management.
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