Pacers Bikeshare program revamps pricing model

Partly in response to competition from electric scooter companies, the Pacers Bikeshare program plans to revamp its pricing structure starting May 1 by eliminating its daily and monthly passes in favor of a pay-as-you-ride model.

Under the new model, walk-up users will pay a $1 fee plus 15 cents per minute, regardless of how long they ride. 

Pacers Bikeshare will continue to offer its annual pass, for which riders pay $80 per year for unlimited trips of 30 minutes or less. Those passholders will pay 15 cents per minute for rides longer than 30 minutes.

“We’re streamlining everyone’s experience, especially the walk-up user,” said Indianapolis Cultural Trail Executive Director Kären Haley. The Cultural Trail administers the Pacers Bikeshare program.

Previously, program users were required to pay for a daily, monthly or annual pass. On top of that, they paid $2 for trips of 31 to 60 minutes and $4 per 30 minutes for trips longer than an hour.

Haley said the new pay-as-you-go model was influenced by scooter pricing. “I’m definitely aware that is a model the scooters are using.”

Pacers Bikeshare saw its day-pass sales drop about 30 percent after scooter companies Bird and Lime entered the Indianapolis market last year, Haley said. 

The Bikeshare program is set for a major expansion this summer, expanding from 29 to 52 bike stations and adding an extra 275 bicycles.

This year, city officials have approved two additional scooter providers to enter the market: Spin, owned by Ford Motor Co.; and car-sharing company Lyft.

Lime raised its Indianapolis rate to 25 cents per minute in March and Bird raised its rate to 29 cents per minute. Both scooter companies had charged 15 cents per minute when they first entered the market. The companies’ $1 flat fee per ride remains the same.

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