Las Vegas launched its first bike-share system Friday with 180 bikes at 21 stations across downtown in a soft opening, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. The official start date will be in October.
The program is overseen by BCycle, the same company that operates bike-share systems in Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Houston. The bikes will cost $4 for 30 minutes, $8 for 24 hours or $20 for a monthly pass, payable at one of the solar-powered kiosks with a credit card or through the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada’s new transit app. The app, RideRTC, also shows kiosk locations and the number of available bicycles.
A $1 million federal grant covered 95 percent of the costs for the bicycles, equipment and payment software, and RTC paid for the rest. It will cost about $63,000 monthly to maintain the program. David Swallow, RTC’s senior director of engineering and technology, told the Review-Journal that those costs will be covered by membership fees and business sponsors.
Many of the kiosks are along or near downtown’s new green bicycle lanes. Swallow says the bike-share will help with first mile/last mile connections to public transit. The bike-share aligns with the goals outlined in the city’s Master Plan released in April, which calls for more public transportation options, as well as a denser, more vibrant urban core. Plans are also moving ahead for a light rail connecting downtown to McCarran Airport, UNLV, Fremont East and the medical district, and free WiFi is rolling out for bus riders soon.
Kelsey E. Thomas is Next City’s associate editor.