Bike-share has arrived in Las Vegas. Launched in October, RTC Bike Share is offering an inexpensive, healthy and environmentally friendly way for millions of visitors to enjoy the city’s vibrant and historic downtown.
A partnership between the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, Bicycle Transit Systems and BCycle — business that implement and promote bike share systems throughout the country, RTC Bike Share is the first public bike-share system in the Las Vegas Valley.
Tina Quigley, RTC general manager, said the bike-share program aims to promote cycling as a sustainable transportation option. “Bike share is a fun and convenient way to get people outdoors and see the city,” she said.
Bike sharing programs have been around in Europe since the mid 1970s. At first they had problems with theft and vandalism. But by the 1990s smart technology and specially designed bicycles laid the groundwork for better-run programs. Similar schemes began appearing in the U.S. in 1994 and have recently proliferated, with New York City, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles all launching bike-share systems over the past three years. L.A.’s Metro Bike Share debuted in July.
RTC Bike Share comprises 180 bikes available 24 hours a day from 21 convenient downtown Vegas stations, including Downtown Container Park, Downtown Grand and the Premium Outlets. Priced at $4 for a 30-minute ride, $8 for a 24-hour pass and $20 for a 30-day membership, it’s perfect for those trips that are too long to walk but too short to drive. And Vegas visitors will see so much more of downtown’s color and culture by bike than they could by car.
“Downtown Las Vegas has a unique combination of high transit ridership, a mix of tourists and residents and, of course, great biking weather that makes it ideal for the kinds of short, spontaneous trips that bike share provides,” said Alison Cohen, Bike Transit CEO.
Complementing Downtown’s existing green bike lanes, RTC Bike Share is easy to enjoy: Users check out a bike from one station and return it to another near their final destination. Like similar programs in L.A. and Philadelphia, the program uses BCycle’s 2.0 next-generation intuitive stations and lightweight bikes. With the addition of Las Vegas, there are now 42 communities with BCycle systems in the U.S. and South America.
“The 2.0 system’s proven technology and high-quality aesthetic will complement the high ridership expected of both resident and tourist users in Las Vegas,” said BCycle president Bob Burns.
— Paul Rogers, LA Times Custom Publishing