The Columbus bike-share program is introducing user-requested changes to its pricing and check-out times for its second season.

ColumBIKE is adding hourly rates, at $3 per hour, to its original pricing plan of $20 a month or $80 for an annual membership, said Dick Boyce, ColumBIKE interim director.

And instead of making bike-share riders check in every 30 minutes, as was the case in the 2016 inaugural year, that requirement has been relaxed, Boyce said.

Starting May 19, which is National Bike to Work Day, all daily bicycle renters must check in at one of eight city bike-share stations every hour. However, riders with monthly or annual memberships will have up to two hours to check in when they’re out cruising in the city.

Changes were based on feedback from 500 riders responding to a ColumBIKE survey last fall.

The survey analyzed what people liked about ColumBIKE and what kept them from taking a ride, as well as how the program could improve their riding experience.

The city’s bike-share program got off to a fast start last year with 60 annual memberships purchased during the May launch, when it averaged 31.5 rides per day.

Statistics showed that ride volume dropped each successive month, however, with weather identified as a factor.

“I hope these changes will encourage individuals to utilize the program, whether it’s for a leisurely commute or day-to-day transportation,” said Kyle Roach, who works in customer service for ColumBIKE. “It’s a great way to see the natural beauty and architectural wonders Columbus has to offer its citizens.”

The changes also let members of the bicycling community know that their voices are being heard.

“We have listened and we are trying to be responsive,” Boyce said. “We are trying to create a sustainable program.”

The changes to ColumBIKE reflect an attempt to tailor the program for the Columbus community instead of patterning it after programs in large cities such as Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Boyce said.

ColumBIKE works with rental-bike manufacturer BCycle, and last year became the company’s 34th program.

The program utilizes the BCycle Now app, which allows users to rent bikes, find the best routes to their destination and more at the touch of button.

ColumBIKE pricing

These are the updated pricing options for ColumBIKE, effecting May 19.

  • Annual pass: $80
  • Monthly pass: $20
  • Hourly pass: $3

2017 Bike to Work Day

The City of Columbus, Cummins and Healthy Communities is inviting the community to join Mayor Jim Lienhoop and other community leaders on a bicycle ride to work.

Riders will leave the following locations at 7:15 a.m. May 19 and end at the Irwin Conference Center Plaza for a light breakfast:

  • Papa’s Grill Parking Lot, 3780 W. Jonathan Moore Pike.
  • North Christian Church, 850 Tipton Lane.
  • Blackwell Park west parking lot, near soccer fields surrounding Parkside Elementary.
  • Haw Creek Trail, 30th Street and Griffa Avenue.
  • America and Roby Anderson Community Center, 421 McClure Road.

Cummins employees will need to reserve ColumBIKEs. Otherwise, no registration is needed to participate.

ColumBIKE program

ColumBIKE has eight bike-rental stations — most of them downtown.

ColumBIKE has an office at 951 2nd St., Columbus.

Information: To learn more about ColumBIKE, visit columbike.bcycle.com or Facebook.com/columbike/timeline, or call toll-free at 844-742-2453.

Author photo
Kaitlyn Evener is an editorial assistant for The Republic. She can be reached at kevener@therepublic.com or 812-379-5633.