Reddy Bikeshare is getting pumped up to roll out another action packed year in the Queen City on the Lake. After coming off its best year to date, the bikeshare program (with support by Independent Health) will not only install more stations around the city, it will also see additional bikes added to its existing fleet of 200. 2019 marked the fourth Reddy Bikeshare season. It also marked the year that the bikeshare service made its way to Niagara Falls.
“Although new and available for only a couple months in Niagara Falls last year, interest in the bikeshare program was strong and helped contribute to 2019 being Reddy’s best season yet! Overall more members signed up than ever before, and we saw a huge increase in the number of trips taken,” said Jennifer White, marketing and communications executive for Reddy Bikeshare.
All told, there were some pretty impressive Ready Bikeshare statistics tallied in 2019, including:
- 6,604 sign-ups
- 59,649 miles traveled
- 36,511 trips
Another impressive stat is that members have burned a collective 7.2 million calories, the equivalent to over 167,000 chicken wings. Part of the reason that this healthy living initiative has been so successful is the overall presence of the bike stations throughout the city. Just about everywhere you go, there’s a bike station. It’s also cool seeing all of the Reddy Bikeshare riders taking advantage of the service – this has become a very popular way of getting around town, for work, play, or exercise.
“Combined with last year’s expansion into Niagara Falls, Reddy Bikeshare will serve the Buffalo/Niagara region in 2020 with 435 total bikes, and we’re continuously looking for partners in both cities to help us continue to promote a healthy and active form of transportation and recreation to our residents and visitors,” said Jennifer White.
Independent Health President and CEO Michael W. Cropp, M.D. said, “The health plan is very pleased with the tremendous success and growing interest in the Reddy Bikeshare program, it is exceeding all our original expectations.”
“It is equally rewarding to see businesses like M&T Bank incorporate Reddy Bikeshare into their corporate wellness program. Together, we’re creating a culture of health in Western New York by supporting recreation and exercise through bicycling,” added Dr. Cropp.
One M&T Bank employee by the name of Tom Darlington was so empowered by the service that he ended up riding one of the Reddy bikes 76 miles in one day, which set a record on July 4th, 2019.
“I had no intention of biking as far as I did at the time, my plan was to ride to the South Towns, but the path I took was under construction – that’s when I came up with the idea to see if it was possible to ride to Niagara Falls,” said Darlington, “Once I got to the Falls, my competitive nature really kicked in, and I wanted to see how far I could go on a Reddy bike in one day. My trip ended at 76 miles, a nod to Independence Day!”
Moving forward, the hope is that the City will address the growing bike infrastructure needs that are required to keep this growing number of cyclists on the road. This City has made some incremental progress when it comes to implementing bike-friendly measures, but it is far from where it needs to be. There are numerous streets that are prime for bike lanes, yet we are not seeing any urgency when it comes to connectivity. It would be great to see an independent committee analyze the City’s comprehensive bike plan, from timelines to types of infrastructure being applied. Simply painting sharrows on a street does not create a bike-friendly route.
The time is now, when it comes to creating a bike-friendlier Buffalo. Everyone is waiting in the wings. Thankfully Reddy Bikeshare is one of the groups leading the way when it comes to bike advocacy in Buffalo. Can the rest of Buffalo get on the same page?
For more information please visit www.reddybikeshare.com. Organizations interested in partnering with Reddy Bikeshare in 2020, or anyone with a request for station expansion in Buffalo can contact Jennifer White at firstname.lastname@example.org or 716-407-7474.
Lead image: NYS Lieutenant Governor, Kathy Hochul, leads the inaugural bike ride through Niagara Falls State Park alongside then Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster, and Reddy Bikeshare staff and members | Photo by Stephanie Dubin