2040 Demographics: Bike-Share Programs Trending Upward

Walking yesterday on a beautiful fall day from my office at Creighton over to meet someone at the Blue Line for coffee, I noticed for the first time a Heartland B-Cycle bike-sharing stand on North 14th Street out in front of Film Streams!

(Not sure how long it’s been there.)

A little research revealed that the program has been in operation for several seasons now.

(Not sure what “seasons” means: I’m thinking bicycles in Omaha in the winter may be a non-starter.)

There will soon be 31 kiosks in the Omaha metro area, including six across the river in Council Bluffs – prompting a name change for the operation from Omaha B-cycle to Heartland B-cycle.

(Not sure when exactly they’re coming; the website doesn’t yet even show the exact locations.)

But the website does show a current location right at the Omaha base of the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge.

(I know where that is…it’s one of my favorite places in Omaha!)

Bike-sharing systems, according to our friend Wikipedia, developed in their current form in Europe in the mid-2000’s.  By this past summer, more than 600 cities had this kind of program, with the largest being in China: Wuhan Public Bicycle has around 90,000 bicycles.

(That would be one bicycle for every 10 people in the Omaha-Council Bluffs Metropolitan Area [population 895,151 in 2013]!)

Bike-sharing is a 21st-century trend – locally, nationally, and world-wide. It’s possible because of 21st-century technology that allows users to check on availability of bikes and docks. And that technology is likely to get even more streamlined.

(Not to mention the cool visualization of where these bikes go – note Aksarben and Downtown hubs of activity!)

Hop on!



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