two receive 2012 civic leaf
May 21, 2012
OMAHA – The royal blue bikes with the front-mounted baskets are now a familiar site on the streets surrounding Aksarben Village and the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Omaha B-cycle, the community’s first large-scale municipal bike-sharing system, has become part of the midtown area’s civic fabric.
Omaha by Design has recognized the two groups responsible for introducing the system to Omaha – Live Well Omaha and the Community Bike Project Omaha (CBPO) – with its 2012 Civic Leaf. Presented annually, the award recognizes an individual, organization or business that has worked to define and improve the metropolitan area’s civic places and public image. The two organizations were honored at the May 16 meeting of the Omaha by Design Advisory Committee.
“Live Well Omaha is proud to be a sponsor of Omaha’s B-cycle program,” said Julie Harris, project manager with Activate Omaha. “Using active transportation for short trips – which is the option that B-cycle provides – is a great way for our citizens to build physical activity into their daily routines. We look forward to the possibilities of expanding the system so that more people can take advantage of this option.”
At present, there are 35 bikes at five B-cycle stations in the midtown area – 62nd and Dodge, 67th and Pine, Aksarben Drive, 67th and Frances, and 66th and Center. Members can pick up one of the bikes at any station and drop it off at any station.
Each Trek 3-speed comfort bike is equipped with an easy-to-use adjustable seat post (it fits anyone from 5’ to 6’6”), built-in baskets and locks, and automatic lights. Fenders, skirt guards and chainguards are designed to keep the rider’s clothes clean.
The user fees vary, depending on the length of time desired. Twenty-four hour passes are $6.00, 30-day passes are $30.00 for adults, and an annual pass is $60.00 for adults. Discounted rates are available for students and seniors for both monthly and annual memberships. Memberships can be purchased at any of the B-cycle stations or online at http://omaha.bcycle.com.
The project is funded by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska and UNO Student Government and is supported by V180 Media, the City of Omaha and Metro. From June 15, 2011, to Dec. 1, 2011, 426 members took a total of 1,437 trips while burning 288,228 calories and resulting in a 6,845 lb. carbon offset.
“The Community Bike Project is thrilled to manage Omaha’s public bike sharing program,” said Matt Martin, CBPO’s executive director. “By providing easy access to bicycles for the public, Omaha B-cycle furthers CBPO’s mission – to strengthen Omaha neighborhoods by promoting the bicycle as viable, reliable and fun transportation.”
Martin said the CBPO and Live Well Omaha are meeting with potential new sponsors and intend to add 100 additional bikes and 20 stations to Omaha’s system within the next year.
Past recipients of Omaha by Design’s Civic Leaf include Anne Trumble for “Stored Potential,” 2011; Omaha South High School’s Collin Stadium Project, 2010; the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge and Omaha Plaza, 2009; Metropolitan Community College (MCC), Omaha Public Library and Metro for the development of MCC’s South Omaha Connector, 2008; and First National Bank for its pair of downtown sculpture parks, 2007.
For more information about Omaha by Design’s awards program, call 402.554.4010 or visit http://www.omahabydesign.org/about/awards/. For more information about Live Well Omaha, visit http://livewellomaha.org. For more information about the Community Bike Project Omaha, visit http://www.communitybikeproject.org.