John G. McGrath — The Hale Center for Jounalism
Kansas City’s bike sharing system is expanding for the spring of 2014. Kansas City B-cycle, powered by Blue KC of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, is adding at least eight new stations in the Westport and Plaza districts. The bike sharing program, run by non-profit BikeWalkKC, already has 12 self-service stations, mainly in the downtown loop.
According to a press release from KC Parks, expanding cycle sharing in KC will both help reduce carbon emissions and help users burn calories: after the initial two years of Kansas City B-cycle, bikers have totaled 9,600 trips where they burned over a million calories and saved 27,000 pounds of carbon emissions.
These changes to KC come with a low pricetag, according to the press release. The release said a single bike station with 11 bikes costs $50,000. This cost is significantly lower than the cost of one mile of urban freeway, which can cost more than $70 million for a four lane mile.
“What this really is, is a great tool for advocacy,” Shipley said. Shipley and her coworkers want to show KC how biking and a healthier lifestyle are linked. “I want people to put us out of the advocacy business because that means the program is working.”
New stations are scheduled first for Westport and the Plaza, and the program is looking to expand even more to Midtown, Waldo and the 18th and Vine District.
Visit bikesharekc.com for more information.