DecoBike pedals to NY, gets 365,000 Miami Beach rentals
By Rachel Tannenbaum
Miami-based DecoBike has expanded stations to North Beach, has leapt north to New York and hopes to expand internationally, says spokesperson Kaye Nagle-Wood.
The City of Miami Beach and DecoBike LCC launched the green bike-sharing program in March to replace the need for car or taxi trips in the community.
"The environmental benefits of utilizing a DecoBike instead of a car are enormous," said Colby Reese, DecoBike's chief marketing officer.
Since the launch seven months ago, Ms. Nagle-Wood said, 38 million calories have been burned, based on 365,000 miles pedaled at an average pace by an average-size rider. She said there have been over 365,000 rides since the March launch, about 50,000 per month.
"DecoBike is the most comprehensive biking system in the country, maybe even in the world," Ms. Nagle-Wood claimed.
Launched as the nation's first green citywide public transit program, DecoBike consists of 800 custom bikes and about 80 active solar-powered bike stations throughout the Beach, with more coming soon, Mr. Reese said.
DecoBike offers two ways to ride: membership or hourly rental. A membership allows a rider to check out and return any bike from any station, all day long. For $15 members get unlimited 30-minute rides monthly or for $25 unlimited 60-minute rides monthly.
Hourly rentals start at $4 for a 30-minute ride. Renters can park bikes at any station. Since DecoBike is a sharing program, riders don't keep a bike all day. When the bike is docked, it becomes available to the next user.
Each DecoBike station, or decoStation, typically holds about 16 DecoBikes and operates 24 hours a day. Not only are the stations bright green and run by solar-power, but the DecoBikes also offer a new concept of advertising. Advertisement, such as the upcoming Black Eyed Peas show at Sun Life Stadium Nov. 23, has appeared on baskets of the bikes.
"It is a cool, hip way to reach a younger crowd," Ms. Nagle-Wood said.
The City of Miami Beach was awarded the Outstanding Achievement City Livability Award by The U.S. Conference of Mayors in July for creation of DecoBike.
"In Europe, many people grow up riding bikes," Ms. Nagle-Wood said. "In the United States it's a newer concept. Some people haven't biked in five or six years."
Mr. Reese said DecoBike is in talks with several other Miami-Dade County municipalities to bring bike sharing services to their communities.
"Additionally," he said, "we are launching a new program in the City of Long Beach on Long Island, NY, and continue talks with various cities in other states."
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