The concept of bike share has evolved since first introduced in 1960 when shared bikes were free, with no payment, and no protection. Now there’s Coast, the 4th generation bike share system. Using multiple technologies, it has made bike sharing easy, convenient and fun. With GPS, integrated locks, adjustable heights, no greasy chains, adjustable gears, and even a handy basket, the new generation of bike sharing has entered the 21st century.
Coast is Tampa’s official Bike Share program. The program features 300 bikes across hubs located in Downtown, Hyde Park, Ybor City, Channelside, Davis Island, and Harbour Island. The program recently passed the one year milestone and is currently planning a regional expansion into Pinellas County.
Using smart apps like SOBI for reserving, paying, trip-planning and finding a station to return your bike, “Coasting” has never been easier. With partners like TBARTA and local transit operators, the number of total active members has reached 15,307. Tampa is unique with over 80% of users being Florida residents. As far as local ridership goes, 37% reside within city limits and additional 32% reside in the eight county TBARTA metro area. Last year, Coast trips totaled an impressive 45,718.
Other than leisurely trips, there are many reasons riders are using Coast. Out of 56% of new trips, 48% were because the destination was too far to walk. Most riders are using paved trails though some venture further using local bike lanes. The new Tampa Riverwalk is seeing a lot of traffic using the connection to reach Channelside, Bayshore, and neighborhoods well beyond. Also expanding to the University of South Florida, the new Share-a-Bull bike share program is averaging about 20 rides per bike per day, making USF the busiest bike share in the country! Ride on!
This is all great news for cyclers of all types but if we want to increase biking as part of urban mobility and transportation we must focus on well-designed protective infrastructure that invites all skill levels to not only use but enjoy the ride. To go with the flow, get more information online or email Eric Trull, Program Director.