Credit: Courtesy BCycle

The City of Santa Barbara unanimously voted to extend its contract with bike share provider BCycle for another three years, as the program has succeeded with nearly a million miles ridden by more than 36,000 riders since launching in January 2021.

According to a report prepared by Sustainability and Resilience Director Alelia Parenteau, the city’s fleet has more than 250 e-bikes and 500 docks at 86 stations stretching from Stearns Wharf to the Mesa and from Lower State to Butterfly Beach.

The project got off to a slow start, in part due to the pandemic and related supply chain problems. A year into the experiment, the whole project was only operating at about 50 percent of capacity with a fleet of around 140 bikes and 300,000 miles ridden. 

Now, it’s a different picture, with the staff report stating that the program is now an integral part of the city’s goals of reaching carbon neutrality by 2035.

In the past two years, BCycle has reported 16 bikes stolen, and only three have not been recovered. BCycle also solved battery thefts and user check-in problems by installing updated technology. 

In the thousands of trips over the past two years, only five collisions were reported to the city. Of these five, three involved a solo rider falling or losing control; one rider was hit by a vehicle but sustained no injuries; and one rider was hit by a car door opening, with no major injuries reported.

The pricing will remain the same going forward. Single rides are $7 for 30 minutes, and BCycle offers a $20 monthly or $150 annual membership for unlimited rides. A low-income program offered at $25 a year, currently has about 70 people enrolled.

The program’s new phase will begin in February 2024. 


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.