AUSTIN (KXAN) — Capital Metro and the City of Austin will team up to operate the city-owned bikeshare system, the Austin Transportation Department announced Monday.
With the agreement will come a rebranding from Austin BCycle to MetroBike, and the Transportation Department said improvements to the fleet are on the way.
“This marks a unification of municipal mobility services to deliver more complete trips to our shared customers while also continuing to meet our mutual goals of creating a better mobility system for all,” said Jason JonMichael, assistant director of Smart Mobility.
Among the expected improvements are:
- Expanding both the fleet and stations
- Optimizing the system’s first and last mile transit solution
- Improving services and reaching people outside downtown
- Making all the bikes electric
- Streamlining use through the Capital Metro app
There are currently 200 electric bikes in Austin for a pilot project to demonstrate the increased use of the transit system when the bikes are available to riders, the city says. During the COVID-19 restrictions nationwide, electric bikes have been used at rates 3 to 4.5 times more frequently than traditional pedal bikes, the city says.
Currently, BCycle has 500 bikes and 75 stations, Bike Share of Austin CEO Diego Martinez-Moncada said. He said the partnership with Capital Metro will help spur further growth to the program.
“This new partnership will allow us to continue to evolve and expand upon our current offerings like the 200 e-bikes we’ve added to the fleet in our current pilot program,” Martinez-Moncada said. “We are excited to serve more Austinites than ever before.”