Starting this week, one of Austin’s most successful transportation programs will be more accessible to low-income Austinites. The B-cycle bike share program started a year and half ago. There’s been more than a quarter of a million bike trips on the system since, traveling more than 700,000 miles. Now, the company’s rolling out three new stations and new membership levels designed to include low-income residents.
There’s several membership options for the bike share system – locals can buy an annual one for $80 that gives them unlimited free trips under thirty minutes every year. And starting this week, any Austin resident making $25,000 or less a year can sign up for a membership that only costs $5 annually.
There are also three new stations at affordable housing communities in town. One of those is Santa Rita Courts at Second and Pedernales Streets on the East Side, the first public housing project in the United States. Grant funding was matched with local donations from the Housing Authority of the City of Austin and the non-profit Foundation Communities.
“You know, it’s really designed to be a low-cost, reliable short-trip solution for folks,” says Executive Director of Austin B-cycle Elliott McFadden. “Not just for recreation, but also, you know, giving you that last mile connection from transit to work or transit to home.”
Austin was one of seven cities in the U.S to receive a grant aimed at increasing access to bike share. Residents at the affordable housing communities making more than $25,000 a year will also be eligible for discounted bike share memberships, at half off the annual rate.
The pilot program is set to run for the next six months.
Disclaimer: KUT/KUTX is a sponsor of Austin B-cycle.