Houston's bike share program, B-Cycle, will soon grow 11-fold, thanks to a $750,000 investment by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX).
A pilot program, launched in May 2012 with three Downtown kiosks and just 18 bikes, has been greatly successful: 1,200 people joined and bikes were checked out 2,000 times, according to Houston Public Radio.
With the funding from BCBSTX and a grant from the US Department of Energy, B-Cycle will expand to 24 stations and 222 bikes, Mayor Annise Parker said in a statement.
That expansion will take place in two phases: Phase II (the pilot being Phase I) will include 16 new stations in Downtown and other neighborhoods; four will be built at METRORail stops.
Phase III will bring stations to the Texas Medical Center, local universities, and more neighborhoods.
On top of the publicity, it is a good deal for the health care provider: Making bikes more available encourages cycling and healthier lifestyles, reducing medical costs.
"We hope this investment will help Houston children and families, not only find more convenient transportation, but get healthy and stay healthy through increased, fun physical activity," Bert Marshall, president of BCBSTX said in a news release.
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