Bike Fort Collins has played a pivotal role with bike sharing in Fort Collins since the inception of the concept. Here’s a brief history.
FORT COLLINS BIKE LIBRARY
Dating back to 2008, as the bike culture of Fort Collins was continuing to promulgate, in collaboration with the City of Fort Collins, BFC opened the Fort Collins Bike Library. FCBL entailed a fleet a bikes of all sizes (including striders and even bike trailers) that could be rented at one of two locations in Old Town Fort Collins. Bikes could be rented by the hour, or even up to several days. It became very popular not only among residents to use for weekend rides, but tourists visiting the area, particularly as a means to tour all of Fort Collins’ great local breweries. The City of Fort Collins contracted with Bike Fort Collins to operate and deliver the FCBL service, and it is considered by many to have helped pioneer bike sharing regionally and nationally, evolving and ultimately leading to the formulation of the more popular bike share model that is known today.
FORT COLLINS BIKE SHARE
Eight years after the FCBL was started, in April 2016, BFC closed the FCBL to make way for a City of Fort Collins sponsored bike share program. While the city contracted with Zagster to provide a more robust, turn-key bike sharing operation driven by a smartphone app to manage all rentals and fleet location tracking. BFC was subsequently outsourced to administer and operate this initial bike share system.
PACE BIKE SHARE
In the summer of 2018, Fort Collins Bike Share adopted Zagster’s bike share name and brand, PACE, introducing dockless bike sharing to the market, enabling the addition of even more bike share stations and opportunity for even more bicycle access across all demographics in Fort Collins. While BFC was no longer the operator under this change, with Zagster taking oversight in-house, BFC remained under contract to help promote ridership and sponsorship. In spring 2019, the bike fleet was then doubled in size and additional stations were added, bringing the total bike and station counts to 250 and 42 respectively, including several adaptive bikes and even trikes.
In March 2020, with the emergence of COVID-19, out of safety and concern for the broader community and the bike share team members responsible for maintaining the bike fleet and stations, bike share service was temporarily suspended until further notice. In May 2020, as a function of service being suspended for over 2-months and the resulting negative impact to business operations, Zagster announced that it was not only closing all Fort Collins bike share operations, but all of its bike share operations across the country.
Currently, BFC is supporting the City of Fort Collins as they have issued a Request for Information (RFI) from other interested bike share companies. Contingent upon RFI responses, this should lead to the issuance of a Request for Proposals (RFP) and a courting process to identify the next bike share provider for Fort Collins. Until then, unfortunately, Fort Collins is bike share-less.
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