Ohio’s First Bike Sharing System to Be Built in Cincinnati

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Building on the momentum of recent city successes, Cincinnati leaders have decided to move forward with plans to build the state of Ohio’s first bike sharing system. A study, prepared by Alta Planning + Design, has guided the city’s plan to create a 35-station, 350-bike system that would be built over two phases in several different Cincinnati neighborhoods.

According to the study, the 35 station locations were identified by gathering public input and through a variety of “suitability factors” including population density, age of residents, employment density, entertainment destinations, the city’s terrain, and connectivity to existing and planned networks. Alta Planning + Design estimates that the 35-station system would cost approximately $2 million to construct and about $200,000 to operate each year. According to the report, Cincinnati’s system would be smaller than those found in major cities such as Boston, Washington D.C., Miami, and Toronto but larger than systems in San Antonio and Chattanooga.

In order to cover system operating costs, the city will most likely rely on a combination of user fees and advertising on the stations. The city has no plans to invest public funds into the system other than in-kind marketing and station monitoring. Annual membership fees and hourly rental rates would ultimately be determined by the system operator and would be contingent upon how much funding is received through paid advertisers and sponsors.

In all, the system is expected to attract 105,000 trips in its first year of operations and grow to 305,000 in year five once multiple neighborhoods are operating. City leaders are hoping the system will eliminate some vehicular traffic in the urban core and encourage Cincinnatians to ride rather than drive. Once the city selects an operator and funds are acquired, the state’s first bike share system will be up and running.

Outside of Cincinnati, bicycle rentals are often provided to vacationers looking for a relaxing activity, a family adventure, or recreational approach to sightseeing. Some even set up their rental before their trip so they are geared up and ready to go upon arrival to popular vacation destinations including the Outer Banks, Hilton Head, Key West, and many more!

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