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Social bicycle demo in New Orleans starts now

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Demo bikes and stations are available in the French Quarter, Treme and Garden District neighborhoods for less than two weeks

Ryan Rzepecki, center, said having a bike share program will positively impact the culture of New Orleans.
Eric Craig, Curbed NOLA

Update: The City extended the Bike Share program until March 31.

In less than a year, New Orleans will host 70 bike stations and 700 rentable bicycles across the city. Today, February 15, Mayor Mitch Landrieu unveiled that there are currently 30 demo bikes and seven demo stations available for public use between February 13 and February 23.

New Orleans’ Transportation Department is partnering with Social Bicycles, a company that uses mobile and wireless technology to make renting bikes across cities easily accessible.

Landrieu said that increasing transportation opportunities has been one of the top goals of the city. Over the past decade, New Orleans has added over 100 miles of bike lanes, he added.

“This is really a small city. And it’s really easier to get around on bike than it is by car,” Landrieu said.

Landrieu said partnering with Social Bicycles the first step of stepping into the future of American cities.

There are currently seven demo stations with bikes ready to demo around the city:

  • 219 Loyola Avenue, New Orleans
  • 1000 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans
  • Benjamin Franklin Monument, New Orleans
  • 601 Loyola Avenue, New Orleans
  • 300 Decatur Street, New Orlean
  • 1201 Bienville Street, New Orleans
  • 424 Barracks Street, New Orleans

Permeant locations are still being finalized between the City’s transportation department and neighborhood organizations.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu demos a social bike during the unveiling.
Photo by Eric Craig, Curbed NOLA

To rent a bike, individuals have to sign up for an hourly or preview pass at the New Orleans Social Bicycles portal.

Social Bike uses a smartphone application to monitor the rental process of the bike. The application can also share mapped rides, show riding statistics, calories burned and money saved.

This past summer, New Orleans chose the Brooklyn-based Social Bicycles to spearhead its new public transportation program in the fall of 2017. Social Bicycles bike share program is used in over 25 cities, including Atlanta, Tampa and Orlando.

“For me, the best part of our job is seeing what happens to a city after we launch the bike share, and seeing the transformation that take place,” said Ryan Rzepecki, CEO and founder of Social Bicycles.

“You’ll see thousands of new cyclist on the streets, all different types of people really exploring a city in a different way,” he added

Photo by Eric Craig, Curbed NOLA
Eric Craig

After launch, according to Rzepecki, there will be three pricing categories. individuals can buy a monthly pass that gives users one hour free a day. Anytime over the free hour, users will be charged $8 an hour.

Casual users will be able to rent a bike for $8 an hour. There is also a $20-a-year low income pass that gives users an hour free ride every day. Cost for additional hours on the pass have not been disclosed.

Rzepecki said this will be a tool for residents and tourist alike. Tourist will be able to use the bikes to explore outside of the French Quarter. Residents can use this as an easy and affordable way to get to jobs, see family and frieds interviews or any other place if they are unable to ride in a car.

“We really want to get everybody on this bike; there should be no reason you can’t get on this bike,” Rzepecki said.