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Boise GreenBike Faces Fewer Riders During Winter

Boise Green Bike Rack Grove
Lacey Daley
Boise State Public Radio
Boise GreenBike Director Dave Fotsch is using winter as an opportunity to pull more than half the bikes off the street and give them proper seasonal maintenance.

This summer was quite successful for the new bike share program in downtown Boise called Boise GreenBike. Riders pedaled more than 27-thousand miles on the bikes, taking more than 10,000 trips. But now that the seasons are changing and temperatures are dropping, the bikes are staying on the racks.

It’s probably no surprise no one wants to ride a bike as much when it’s 40 degrees outside and raining. Out of the 114 bikes in the Boise GreenBike network, only 20 or so are getting a ride each day. That’s according to the director, Dave Fotsch.

“It started slowing down even before the time change, but now that it gets dark so early, we’re seeing even fewer rides.”

Fotsch is using the slow time to do some winter maintenance on the bikes, as well as fundraise for more racks to be installed next year.

He says he doesn’t want to add more bikes to the network, but he does want more racks where the bikes can be stored without a fee to the rider. Right now, there are 15 hubs scattered around downtown.

“We just need to add utility to the system and make it easier for someone to walk out of their office building, grab a bike and go to lunch,” Fotsch says. “We tried to space the stations so they are a quarter of a mile from each other, but even with that, there aren’t enough for everyone to have a bike outside their office.”

He hopes with more bike racks and some incentives for businesses to give their employees a low rate on an annual pass, ridership next summer will be even more successful.

In the meantime, Fotsch is coordinating the Boise GreenBike Winter Challenge, a checklist of 25 things riders can do on the bikes in winter.


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