Roanoke bike share program exceeds expectations in first six months

By  | 

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) Six months in and the Roanoke bike program is showing impressive numbers.

"It's gone beyond our wildest expectations," RIDE Solutions Director Jeremy Holmes said.

Holmes hoped to have a thousand people signed up by the end of the year, but they're already over 1,790 users with about 4,700 trips between them.

"We are delivering about twice as many trips as the average city of our size," Holmes said.

Other businesses are noticing the uptick in bike activity. Downshift recently set up shop downtown, and owner Stephen Ambruzs says the see the community supporting bicycles.

"We really like the fact that Roanoke is becoming more bicycle friendly, and that the city is supporting new bike infrastructure for bicycles on the road," Ambrusz said.

RIDE Solutions has plans for three more bike stations in the spring, with locations yet-to-be-announced. Holmes said they plan to grow the program into neighborhoods surrounding downtown.

"It kind of crosses boundaries by providing recreation for people who don't have access to a bicycle, but we're also looking at what's happening in downtown with the growing residential population and growing employment," Holmes said.

Holmes said nearby neighborhoods do come with challenges including traffic and steeper hills. To counteract that, Holmes says RIDE Solutions will lobby for more bike lanes in residential areas and potentially purchasing electric bicycles.