Despite some halting progress on implementing its two-year-old bike plan, Dallas remains a national laggard when it comes to bike friendliness.
Meanwhile, our neighbor to the west has been climbing the cycling ranks, quickly implementing its own expansion of cycling infrastructure. And, last summer, Fort Worth won close to $1 million federal transportation funds for a bike sharing program.
The rubber finally hits the road today. After months of preparation and planning, Fort Worth Bike Sharing goes live. Here's what you need to know:
What's the point?
Bike sharing operates on the idea that, in relatively dense urban settings where driving/parking is impractical, bicycles offer a quick and convenient way for people to cover distances that can't be comfortably walked. Bike sharing allows people to take these trips without actually owning a bike.
How does it work?
Pretty simple, really. Buy a membership online http://fortworthbikesharing.org/information/ or at a designated B-cycle kiosk (they range from $8 for 24 hours to $80 for a full year); check out a bike from one of the 30 docking stations that dot downtown, Near Southside, and the Cultural District; pedal; return to the nearest docking station. The first half hour is free, the second 30 minutes is $1.50. Each additional half hour is $3.
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What's to keep me from stealing the bikes?
Aside from the fact that the program's 300 Treks are specially designed and painted to look like nothing you'll find at your local bike shop, they're all equipped with GPS so that burly, spandex-clad enforcers can track down any missing vehicles. Plus, stealing bikes is a pretty douchey thing to do.
When's Dallas going to get its bike sharing program?
No plans yet but, based on the city's sprawl and spotty cycling track record, it'll probably be about the time humans develop teleportation and render wheeled transport obsolete.