Ithaca Bikeshare Expands Number of Parking Hubs
Ithaca Bikeshare, part of the nonprofit Center for Community Transportation, plans to increase the number of parking hubs in the city and raise the costs of bike use. Since its launch Nov. 9, 2022, the organization
has provided nearly 13,179 rides on public bikes.
Ithaca Bikeshare seeks to get residents of the City of Ithaca to travel more by bike than by car. Jeff Goodmark, director of micromobility at the organization, said via email that public bike sharing is necessary in Ithaca in order to get cars off the road.
“The overall reliance on cars is causing many major issues such as pollution, reliance on fossil fuels, and wasted city space for parking,” Goodmark said. “All of this ties in with Ithaca’s Green New Deal goals.”
The bike hubs’ locations are visible on the Ithaca Bikeshare app and serve as a safe way to organize parked bikes where they are accessible to other riders. Hubs are spaced about one to two blocks away from each other.
Goodmark said he hopes to increase the number of hubs around the city by the end of the year, adding to the current 79 hubs.
“The idea of parking hubs is to give people the flexibility to ride wherever they want but also provide some form of predictability in terms of where people can find bikes,” Goodmark said.
Other changes include eliminating the $1 credit to riders for parking in a hub. Instead of a $1 credit, riders will be charged a $1 fee if they do not park in a hub.
Previously, unlocking a bike cost $1 and $0.15 per minute to ride. Goodmark said that pricing will increase to $0.20 per minute and unlocking a bike will now cost $1.50. Day passes will stay the same price at $20 per day, as will monthly and yearly passes, which are $45 and $150, respectively.
Goodmark said the reason for the changes was that only 10% of Ithaca Bikeshare riders complied with the parking hubs. He said other cities that charge $1 for not parking in a hub experienced a 50–60% increase in riders properly using hubs.
Goodmark said a team goes out daily to charge, retrieve, and park the bikes. He said it is important for them to look nice so as to make the service seem more appealing.
“It’s the appearance of it being well managed versus not being well managed,” Goodmark said. “Our goal is to try to make [the bikes] look as good as we possibly can.
Goodmark said the Ithaca Bikeshare bikes can make traveling through the City of Ithaca easy and efficient, while also helping to improve the city’s sustainability goals by decreasing the number of cars on Ithaca’s roads.
“The way Ithaca is laid out for many places downtown, it’s less than two miles, which is ideal for a bike ride, especially for an electric bike ride, which goes a lot faster and requires less effort,” Goodmark said.
- Vivian Rose, Ithacan, 3/22/23