The red bikes are back! As of March 12, 2012, B-Cycle is open for business.
Now in its third year, Denver's B-Cycle program (the first of its kind in the country), is an automated bike renting system designed to move people throughout the city, cut down on congestion, increase activity, and--perhaps most important--have some fun.
How does it work? More than 50 Kiosks ("B-Stations") placed throughout the city hold bikes until needed. Anyone can rent a bike from any B-station online or in person, then return it to any other B-Station when finished.
The first 30 minutes of any rental are always free. After that riders pay $1 to finish the hour, and $4 per subsequent 30 minutes. A full day can be rented ahead of time for $8, with tiered pricing all the way up to an annual pass for $80. From now through April 22, though, an annual pass costs just $59.
In 2011, B-Cycle provided around 200,000 trips totaling 431,000 miles.
"We estimate that our riders save 56,000 gallons of gasoline and about $990,000," said Parry Burnap, the programs executive director to 9News. "That's almost $1 million re-circulating in the local economy. Not only that, they burned 13.5 million calories, and with the rising obesity epidemic, that's a huge contribution to society."
And while the bikes are provided for you, it is BYOH -- Bring Your Own Helmet.