CoGo Bike Share Plans to Expand With New Stations in 2015
The CoGo Bike Share system may see its first station expansion in 2015 if funding can be secured by public and private partnerships in the coming weeks. Between six and twelve new stations are being planned in areas that have been requested by system users and studied as places where the need is greatest.
“We’ve already done some of the preliminary work, taking the hundreds of suggestions for locations and mapping them all out,” explained Heather Bowden, General Manager at CoGo. “Next we’ll need to drill down really hard and come up with our list of top station placements, and then work with our partners like Orange Barrel Media on drumming up more community support through station sponsorships. The more sponsorships we have, the farther our dollars can go.”
Bowden said that several corporate sponsors are close to signing on, but was not quite ready to announce specifics. The most requested station placements include North High Street between Second Avenue and Lane Avenue, as well as placements within neighborhoods like Victorian Village, Franklinton and Olde Town East.
“We’re really excited to get deeper into the denser neighborhoods like Harrison West, and will be able to draw more regular commuters,” said Bowden. “With all types of bike share systems you always see a larger percentage of day pass users at first, but then it shifts to more annual subscribers once people have a chance to understand how to ride and how it works into their daily commute.”
Bowden added that ridership has met expectations and that CoGo has provided close to 80,000 trips since it first launched in July 2013. The ridership has remained steady despite competition from other new forms of alternative transportation, including the CBUS Circulator, car2go, uber and Lyft.
“As they say — a rising tide lifts all boats — and these systems really do compliment each other,” said Bowden. “Even if you commute Downtown from the suburbs by COTA and arrive at the new transit center, you can hop on a CoGo Bike nearby to complete the ‘last-mile’ portion of your trip.”
Columbus City Council is expected to vote tonight to allocate approximately $200,00 from the Department of Recreation and Parks to help pay for expansion costs. CoGo also landed a $1.25 Million grant from Medical Mutual earlier this year to help make the system self-sustaining.
For more information, visit www.cogobikeshare.com.