For the Love of Bike-Sharing: Aspen's WE-Cycle and Google's Boulder Investment

January 27 2011, 1:00 PM

Bicycle-sharing programs like Denver's B-Cycle are becoming more popular by the day. B-Cycle itself is expanding across the nation, in cities like Madison, Wisconsin, which is about to invest $100,000 for 350 bikes and 35 kiosks. In Boulder, Google just anted up $25,000 as part of a "commitment to support innovative ways for using Internet-based technology to reduce environmental impacts and improve the quality of life in the communities where it operates," writes the Treehugger blog, which notes B-Cycle is attempting to raise $1 million for Boulder by May. 

In Aspen, the nonprofit WE-Cycle is seeking $550,000 to place an order for 100 bikes and up to 10 kiosks, reports the Aspen Times. According to organizer Mitre Mallory, 150 bike-sharing programs existed across the country in 2009, and by the end of last year the number had risen to 250. WE-Cycle's bikes can be clunky, but they're for short trips, says Mayor Mick Ireland, who recently rode one. "I wouldn't recommend taking them up [Independence Pass]. They're a little heavy for that."

Meanwhile, down in Pueblo, where the streets aren't necessarily considered bicycle-friendly when it comes to designated bike lanes, the city's system of trails is credited with spurring an increase in biking there, notes the Chieftain, which also points out that a nonprofit group has been working to make the city's "roadways more accommodating."