Iowa’s capital city has launched a bicycle-sharing program. The 18-bicycle fleet was unveiled today in downtown Des Moines. Carl Voss, chairman of the Des Moines Bicycle Collective, says Des Moines is the just the fifth city in the country to have such a program. The other cities are Washington D.C., Denver, Minneapolis and Chicago.
The 18-bicycles are locked into four kiosks around downtown Des Moines. Riders can rent a bicycle by swiping a credit card at the kiosk or by obtaining a 30-day or annual membership. A 24-hour bike rental costs $5. “It’s a great way for Des Moines visitors to get around Des Moines,” Voss said. “In Denver, their program started in April and they’re exceeding their expectations for visitors using the bikes and for residents using the bikes.”
The Des Moines Bicycle Coalition operates the “B-Cycle” program – which is being supported by Polk County, the City of Des Moines and several businesses. Voss believes the bike-sharing program will be a hit with people who ride the bus into downtown Des Moines. “The biggest use for these bikes in Denver and Minneapolis is for people who are using the bikes in combination with public transportation,” Voss said.
The three-speed bikes include an adjustable seat, a storage basket and a built-in bike lock and key.