The Center for Community Transportation (CCT) today announced it will launch Ithaca’s first non-profit, community-owned and operated bikeshare on Wednesday 11/9, releasing the first set of dockless e-bikes at locations throughout the City. The launch marks the much-anticipated return of bikeshare following the departure of the popular Lime bikeshare in early 2020, which left Ithaca due to industry trends and the pandemic. Plans to launch the new Ithaca Bikeshare were finalized with last Wednesday night’s unanimous Common Council vote to approve the City’s memorandum of understanding with CCT.
The bikes, purchased from Drop Mobility, are class 1 pedal-assist electric bikes with a maximum assist speed of 16 mph, and can be unlocked using the Ithaca Bikeshare app downloaded from the Apple Store, the Play Store or the ithacabikeshare.org website. Pricing is designed to be affordable with several different plan options, including monthly and annual memberships, and a reduced rate is available through the GO ITHACA Easy Access program. The dockless e-bikes may be parked in the public right of way in the treelawn/furniture zone – between sidewalk and curb – and at the ends of (but not in) bike racks. The program will also offer a $1 credit to encourage people to return the bikes to selected hub locations, which will be visible on the app at the end of their ride.
“A lot of time and energy has gone into making Ithaca Bikeshare possible,” said Jeff Goodmark, CCT’s Director of Micromobility. “I want to thank everyone for their part in making it happen. I am personally excited for the return of bikeshare as this program brings much needed affordable, alternative, and sustainable transportation for everyone to use.
Ithaca is focusing on the Green New Deal and carbon reductions across the board and Ithaca Bikeshare ties into this idea perfectly.” Acting City of Ithaca Mayor Laura Lewis said: “It’s our hope and intention that bikeshare will add another safe and affordable multi-modal transportation option for residents, reduce traffic congestion, and maximize carbon-free mobility. I’m very pleased the City has been able to work with CCT to bring back this important transportation option.”
“This program supports downtown and the city as a whole in being an economically vibrant place where everyone can better access employment, recreation, and business opportunities without always having to rely on a car,” said Tom Knipe, Director of Economic Development for the City of Ithaca. “Thank you to CCT for bringing bike share back to Ithaca.”
“The Long-Range Plan of the Ithaca-Tompkins County Transportation Council (ITCTC) recognizes the need to offer multiple transportation options to the community in order to reduce car dependency and its associated environmental, financial and safety costs”, said Fernando de Aragon, Executive Director ITCTC. “Well over 50% of all trips in the Ithaca area are less than two miles in length. Bicycling has great potential to benefit residents and visitors, and Ithaca Bikeshare will bring those benefits home.”
“GO ITHACA is excited for the long-awaited return of bikeshare to our community. Our members have been asking us for a bikeshare program since the departure of Lime Bike, and we are so glad that we can now offer them a benefit from a program that will be community-led and community-focused. We will now be able to offer more options to help our members get around Ithaca in a sustainable and affordable way. We are thrilled to build our partnership with Ithaca Bikeshare and bring its benefits to our members”, said Jane Bowman-Trently, Director of GOIthaca.
“We wholeheartedly support Ithaca Bikeshare as an important piece of the puzzle of making biking for transportation accessible to people of all ages, abilities and income levels. We look forward to partnering with this program and with
the City on other puzzle pieces, such as protected roadway infrastructure for bicycling,” said Margaret Johnson, Director of Bike Walk Tompkins.
The City of Ithaca has allocated $50,000 from its 2022 American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) funding for the purchase of bikeshare bikes. Additionally, $140,000 has already been raised from private sources to make this launch possible. CCT is
seeking to fundraise a total of $750,000 through a mix of public, private, and philanthropic contributions to buy a total of 350 bikes and initial equipment, to serve most of the City of Ithaca. Donations supplement user-based revenues and
support operations and outreach. CCT plans to increase the size of the bikeshare fleet towards a fuller launch in spring of 2023.
Meanwhile, a small number of bikeshare bikes will remain available throughout the winter. Smaller individual donations from community members are welcome. To donate to Ithaca Bikeshare, click here: https://donorbox.org/community-bike-share.
The Center for Community Transportation (CCT) is a nonprofit whose vision is to achieve “a community where travel by shared and active transportation is healthy, safe, affordable, and convenient for all.” CCT works with local transportation
providers, educators, planners, decision-makers, advocates, and users to fulfill its mission of enhancing transportation access in the community while reducing transportation’s negative environmental and economic impacts. CCT’s mission-
focused services and activities include Ithaca Carshare, Bike Walk Tompkins (and its signature program StreetsAlive! Ithaca), Backup Ride Home, and now Ithaca Bikeshare.
More information about Ithaca Bikeshare can be found by downloading the Ithaca Bikeshare app or visiting the website at https://ithacabikeshare.org.