GREENbike program is a big hit in Salt Lake City

GREENbike is a big hit in Salt Lake City and is among the nation's most successful bicycle share program. Photo courtesy GreenBike SLC Bike Share.

SALT LAKE CITY – A nonprofit organization that offers bicycles to get around downtown Salt Lake City is among the nation’s most successful bicycle share programs.

Will Becker, program manager of GREENbike SLC Bike Share, says last year more than 26,000 people used about 60 green bikes to take 26,000 rides and travel more than 50,000 miles.

“We are a small bike share and there are some much larger bike share’s that have been around a bit longer,” Becker says. “So for our size, as a small bike share, in our opening season last year we had more trips per bike, than any other bike share with less than 50 stations.”

Becker says the program is a public-private partnership with Salt Lake City, and also gets funding from the private sector.

There are about a dozen bicycle stations located within in one square mile of the downtown area. Becker expects the number of bicycles and stations to nearly double this year.

Riders can rent the bikes at a cost of $5 for a one-day pass, $15 for a week or $75 dollars for a year.

Becker says the bikes are rented for unlimited 30-minute increments.

“You take it from point A to point B, and drop it off when you’re done,” he explains. “As soon as you’re ready to check out another bike, you go pick it up and take it to the next place you need to go. That’s why it works more as a bike share, versus a bike rental, where you’re holding onto that bike for the entire day, whether you’re using it or not.”

Becker’s father, Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, is among the program’s supporters. The mayor says it complements public transit and helps reduce the city’s severe air pollution challenges.

The GREENbike program operates April through December.

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