Bikeshare program to launch downtown on Cultural Trail

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The non-for-profit group that maintains the Indianapolis Cultural Trail plans to launch a bike-sharing program on April 22, with 250 bicycles available to rent across 25 different stations along the downtown path.

The program has been dubbed Indiana Pacers Bikeshare, as per the wishes of The Herbert Simon Family Foundation, which made a significant donation toward startup and operating expenses. Herbert Simon owns the NBA team.

Indianapolis Cultural Trail Inc., which will operate the program, announced details on Friday.

Rugged, three-speed bicycles will be available at 25 locations either on or near the 8-mile, $63 million path that runs through and around downtown and along Virginia Avenue. (See a map of the locations.)

ICT is using a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to purchase 250 bikes and related equipment, said Executive Director Karen Haley. She declined to reveal the amount of the Simon donation.

Users will be able to purchase annual memberships for $80, or 24-hour passes for $8. To encourage the “sharing” aspect of the program, users will be able to check out bicycles in 30-minute increments. If a ride extends past 30 minutes, the user will be charged another $2 for the next half hour and another $4 for each additional 30-minute period.

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, a high-profile supporter of cycling, praised the program.

“A growing number of people want to live in places where they can connect to unique experiences and neighborhoods without needing a car,” Ballard said in a prepared statement.  “Adding Pacers Bikeshare to our internationally recognized Cultural Trail will help attract, retain and connect people in Indy and take our growing bicycle culture to an entirely new level.”

The Cultural Trail opened in May, with its funding split between $35.5 million from the federal government and $27.5 million in private donations. It has been recognized nationally as a trailblazing amenity for urban dwellers.


  • Facts...
    The article says it's run by ICT and they received a $1 million USDOT grant. So, that'll probably cost you about three cents Joe. I do wonder if these services become self sufficient in other cities or whether they rely on ongoing subsidies. The two places I've ridden (Twin Cities & Wash DC) have lower rates for both daily or annual passes, and DC has a discounted three-day pass. It's unfortunate that Indy's system will have higher rates and a much smaller service area as both factors might threaten its success. But as much as we like to subsidize the Pacers, maybe some people will ride to support the team. Seriously though, it's kinda lame that we will apparently have the first system named for a sponsor, err, I mean generous donor.
  • $$$
    Come on Bob, no one gets attacked on the Czar Ballard's Monon Trail. Has he let them know yet that illegal aliens ride for free until they can come out of the shadows? BTW how much is this new gift from the nanny state going to cost us. In all this promotional propoganda put out by the govt run media letting us know how great fat boy's new boondoggle is, they never say how much the taxpayer is on the hook for this crap. So how much is it Ballard or is that a secret?
  • Concern
    The only potential problem I can see with this is Indiana's promising Bikeshare program trading for Evan Turner, and then completely collapsing. Something to keep an eye on.
  • Ballard
    IndyPan, If you had listened better you would have heard Mayor Ballard correctly. He said no other city has something like the Cultural Trail. That is absolutely true.
  • Better now than never
    Better to have finally gotten it than to be late to the party. The only thing I would have wished for was a more expanded system beyond the Cultural Trail, serving parts of the Monon up to Broad Ripple or even Carmel and along some of the city's greenways, but perhaps that will come in further expansion of the system as I assume this is only the first step. On a different note, given the name, I wonder if the bikes will start out really good and then start to fail as time goes along....but seriously, get well soon Pacers.
  • Ain't we something!
    Our mayor is an embarrassment. He says "Adding Pacers Bikeshare to our internationally recognized Cultural Trail will help attract, retain and connect people in Indy and take our growing bicycle culture to an entirely new level." Uhh, Mr. Mayor, virtually every other city in the US already has bicycle sharing. Here's a list: Aspen, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boise, Boston, Boulder, Broward FL, Charlotte, Chattanooga, Chicago, Cincinnati, Columbus, Denver, Des Moines, El Paso, Fort Worth, Fullerton, Hoboken, Honolulu, Houston, Kailua, Kansas City, Long Beach, Madison, Miami Beach, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New York, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, Providence, Sacramento, St. Louis, St. Paul, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Monica, Savannah, Seattle, Spartanburg, Tampa, Washington DC, Norfolk. Try to keep up, Greg. You're not fooling anyone.
    • Available Information
      To answer all of the what and how to questions people have, an easy solution would be to go to the B Cycle website. They have a general operation for each city they're located in and you can also click on those cities and see specifics. https://www.bcycle.com/howitworks.aspx https://www.pacersbikeshare.org/home/
    • details
      B-Cycle has a team that will move bikes around to balance the stations. If you try to dock a bike at a full stations there will be a way to report the station is full and it will give you an extra 15 minutes with the check-out to dock at another stations. Their mobile app shows all of the stations in a Google Map and gives details of how many bikes are docked and now many spaces are available. Another thing they do for events is to have a mobile station that allows for an you to easily check-in or out bikes.
    • missing details
      So where are the bikes dropped if the station closest to your destination is full and there is not an open slot to return the bike? Is the B-Cycle operation team on the move relocating the bikes if they are disproportionately docked during busy events like First Friday, Rib America, Freedom Fest, 500 Festival Parade; Pacer & Colts games? Unlike Taxi Cabs, the bikes won't recycle (no pun intended) to their home base. With only 10 bikes per station, I can see certain stations getting overloaded with bikes when there are bigger events going on downtown.
      • Pacersbikeshare.org is the website
        Details are on the program's website: https://www.pacersbikeshare.org/home/
      • Operated by B-Cycle
        It look like the bike share program will be operated by B-Cycle and they have a website for the Indy program https://www.pacersbikeshare.org/home/
      • So generous
        The Simons are so generous - buying the naming rights to Assembly Hall and donating the funds for the bike share. We are so lucky that these billionaires are willing to take our tax dollars and redistribute small portions of it to their pet projects.
      • System Specifics
        While I am not sure of this specific system, many in operation have payment stations at the bike share location. They are similar to the meter pay boxes we have now. In terms of operation, you must pay by credit card. You swipe your card, select your terms of use (24 hour rental or year pass) and you are given an unlock code. You can print this out as a receipt or just memorize it. Once you have that code, you select a bike, type in the code and the unit unlocks. Because this is electronically based, it can process your check-out time based on the code being entered and return time. When you return the bike to any station, you lock it back into the rack and your term is over. You can then swipe your card at that terminal to obtain another pass code. As long as you get to the next station within 30 minutes, you don't pay an additional fee. Additionally, because you pay with a card, you are liable for returning the bikes. Once you operate the system once or twice, it is quite simple and very useful to get about town.
      • rental...
        Not any information on how this would be implemented. Who and how do you pay, who keeps track of how long you ride and how much you owe?
        • no thank you
          pay to ride a bike in the emerging murder capital of the united states? no thanks.
          • To head off any foreseeable criticism
            I used London's bikeshare program when I lived there and New York's when I visited, and before someone hops on the comments to bemoan the payments, consider this: there will be enough stations around the cultural trail that, if you're smart, you can hop off a bike, check out another and continue on your way. It's really easy and you won't get nailed with the extra charges. Renting out a bike is not like renting a car; think of it more as a taxi - you use it to get place to place and hail another as soon as you're ready to move on.

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