Raleigh's bike-sharing program has a new name and look while inching closer to its summer launch date.
The name of the system will be Citrix Cycle. Citrix, which has hundreds of employees downtown, is the title sponsor for the bike-sharing program, according to a tweet from the technology company's CEO, David Henshall.
"It's always great to work from the Citrix office here, but today it was particularly exciting to share our news: The new bike sharing system in downtown Raleigh will officially be Citrix Cycle," he said.
The tweet included a photo of red bicycles with the Citrix name on the tires.
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"Citrix is proud to have a home in Raleigh and is always seeking ways to invest in and support our community,” said Nate Spikler, Citrix Raleigh site leader, in a Raleigh news release.. “Citrix Cycle is a part of our ongoing commitment to the city of Raleigh to help move our community forward as an active, vibrant and innovative city. Citrix Cycle will create new mobility opportunities for residents, visitors, and employees alike, while reducing carbon footprints and increasing options for daily physical activity.”
The terms of the sponsorship, including the cost, were not immediately known because it's a contract between Citrix and Bewegen Technologies, the private vendor managing the system. The city agreed to cover the capital costs associated with the bike share while Bewegen handles the operation of the system.
How does the bike share work?
Raleigh will have a dock-based system, meaning the bikes can't be left indefinitely on the side of the road or at someone's apartment. They're meant to be checked out at one of 30 docks or stations, ridden and then checked in to one of the 30 stations. They don't have to be returned to the same dock where they were checked out from.
The bikes will be available 24 hours per day and yearlong.
When will it start?
The bicycle docking stations will be installed in the coming months, with a launch date planned in late summer. It was originally supposed to launch in May, but it has been pushed back after some difficulties finding ideal locations with availability of power.
A founding member campaign will start in July asking people to become initial annual members.
How much does it cost?
A single ride will cost $2 for the first 45 minutes and $2 for every additional 30 minutes. A daily pass will be $6, while a monthly pass and an annual pass will be $20 and $85, respectively. Even if someone has a daily, monthly or annual pass, they will only be able to use the bikes for 45 minutes at a time before having to "check-in" at a station. Then the 45 minute clock will start over. If a bike isn't checked in under 45 minutes, it will cost $2 per additional 30 minutes. This is to prevent the bikes from wandering off from the core area or ending up in other counties.
Discounts are offered for students including an annual rate of $65 and an Access Pass for qualifying low-income residents can receive an annual pass for $10.
The entire capital project cost $1.6 million, with the city providing $175,000 and Wake County providing $170,000 in local funding.
Where are the station locations?
The stations will mostly be used as charging docks for the bicycles and will include some sort of map showing other nearby stations and greenway trails. The stations are modular, and locations for bicycles can be easily added or removed if the city finds a station is always running out of bikes or a station is always full.
Here's the initial location for the stations:
- Union Station
- West & Jones
- Hillsborough & Dawson
- Morgan & West
- North Carolina Museum of Art
- Hillsborough and Royal
- Hillsborough and Dan Allen
- Hillsborough and Horne
- Cameron Village
- NCSU Belltower
- Glennwood & Tucker
- Seaboard Station
- North Person Street
- St. Augustine's University
- Chavis Way
- John Chavis Memorial Park
- Dorthea Dix Park
- Farmers Market
- Pullen Park
- West South Street
- Walnut Creek Wetland Center
- Fayetteville Street
- Go Raleigh Station
- Shaw University
- Duke Energy
- Raleigh Convention Center
- Hillsborough & Ashe
- Municipal Building
What about the bikes?
Half of the bikes will include a small electric motor to make trips faster and help some people who don't normally ride bicycles. Unlike some other cities, Raleigh will have "smart bikes" as opposed to "smart docks," meaning there is real-time GPS in all of the bicycles, making it easier to find bicycles if they go missing. The city will also be able to set up virtual stations for people to pick up or drop off bikes during special events.
If you want to make a stop along your route, there is a secondary lock that locks the bike in place while you stop.
The bicycles will also have adjustable seats, automatic front and rear lights and a front basket, Helmets will not be included. While the details are still being sorted out, children under the age of 16 may be barred from using the bike share because helmets are required for people under the age of 16, under state law.
What about the green bikes I see at NC State University?
LimeBike, a California-company, brought hundreds of bicycles to the Wolfpack campus last year. More than 12,000 people have downloaded the mobile app that lets them unlock the bicycles on campus.
The bicycles raised some eyebrows initially after a few bicycles ended up in trees or lakes, but those were rare moments and the company ultimately decided to add more bicycles to campus earlier this year.
Is another dock-less bike share program coming to Raleigh?
The city's Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission is looking at the feasibility of a dockless system — like the bright green bikes at NC State. Some other cities do have dockless systems that compliment a city-owned dock-based system, but there is nothing official yet.
Wake Forest recently signed a two-year agreement to allow the bikes within the town limits. That program will start in June.