Bike share program celebrates first full year in Fayetteville

Courtesy photo

Officials last week celebrated the one-year anniversary of Fayetteville’s bike share program.

The program rolled out in September 2018 as a partnership between VeoRide, the city and the University of Arkansas. Billed as the largest bike share program in the state, the launch included 290 pedal bikes and 50 e-bikes. Another 100 e-bikes were added in February to bring the total of bikes in Fayetteville to 440.

As part of the partnership, VeoRide was given the exclusive right to operate a bike share program in the rights-of-way within the city limits for three years. The city and university each agreed to pay $20,000 annually with the A&P Commission adding $10,000 to help subsidize the cost for residents and visitors who purchase subscriptions for bicycle usage.

Officials said in the program’s first year, over 85,000 trips were taken by 8,700 users, and that to date, program administrators have received no reports of injuries to any users.

“We are very proud of the program’s success,” said Dane Eifling, bicycle and pedestrian programs coordinator for the city and the university. “Every decision made with this program has been focused on maximizing ridership and increasing active transportation. We want to make sure the bikes are being used as much as possible every day.”

VeoRide started in 2017 at Purdue University and now operates in 36 cities across the country. The Fayetteville-UA program ranks number one in ridership among the company’s mid-sized metro markets.

Prior to launching in Fayetteville, VeoRide hired Fayettevillian Andrew Miles to work as the program’s general manager. His role has since expanded to include southeast regional manager duties.

Miles said VeoRide will adjust its pedal bike cost structure from a set 15-minute fee to a 30-cent unlock fee plus 5-cents per minute. E-bikes prices will remain the same at a $1 unlock fee plus 10 cents per minute. Annual memberships are also available and allow users to take unlimited one-hour rides on pedal bikes. Annual memberships are priced at $70 for the public and $35 for UA and Fayetteville public school students.

To celebrate the anniversary, VeoRide officials said they will give away a one-year pedal bike membership and $50 e-bike credit to whoever takes ride number 100,000 in Fayetteville.