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Columbia Business Monthly

Blue Bike Share Officially Launched

Oct 10, 2018 11:12AM ● By Kathleen Maris

The official launch of the new bike share system, Blue Bike, was held Monday, Oct. 8th at 10:00 a.m. at the Lady Street entrance to the Vista Greenway. 

The Blue Bike share system is structured to operate like automated bike rentals for short periods. The structure encourages shorter, spontaneous trips where bikes are checked out, ridden for a short period of time and returned to any station in the system for someone else to use.  The system consists of a fleet of user-friendly and hardy bikes placed at conveniently located stations. Approximately thirty-five percent of the bikes will have electric assist to allow users to access the community with ease.

The system will include a blend of stationary bike stations as well as virtual stations. In addition, temporary virtual stations can be established as needed to support special events taking place throughout Columbia. Bikes will be a blend of traditional bikes combined with Pedelec (electric assist) bikes, allowing and encouraging use of all levels of skill.

Overall, bike share provides a cost-effective, environmentally-friendly, and convenient travel option for many short trips. Bike share is a relatively inexpensive and quick infrastructure extension to a city’s public transportation system, allowing it to serve as a convenient ‘last mile’ connector and function as ‘transit by bike.’

The City is pleased to be working with Bewegen and their partner Corps Logistics to provide bike share. Bewegen was founded in 2013 and partners with industry-leading companies to provide bike share to communities such as Richmond, Va.; Birmingham, Ala.; Raleigh, N.C.; and many more. Their system prioritizes adaptability and flexibility and offers the cutting edge and patented Pedelec (electric assist) technology that studies have shown results in higher usage rates for bike share systems.

Sponsored by BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, the Blue Bike program has launched with 135 bikes and fifteen bike share stations. Mayor Benjamin, officials from BlueCross, and Alain Ayotte, CEO of Bewegen, spoke at the press conference.

The official Blue Bike website is now live where founding memberships can be purchased.