The Latest on CoGo: Ridership Up, New Office Planned, New Stations To Be Announced
Ridership on the CoGo bike share system in the first half of 2017 is up about 28 percent compared to last year, according to the City of Columbus.
Brad Westall, Greenways Planner for the Recreation and Parks Department, said that the five stations that were added last year were all well-positioned to expand the network in areas where demand for the service was strong.
He singled out a new station in Merion Village, at the Barrett development — where a partnership with the project’s developer, Casto, provided free memberships to all residents — as being a key part of the rise in ridership.
“That has become a popular station, and that’s a good trend,” said Westall. “We’ll be trying to coordinate bike share with a lot of the new dense development projects going on….it’s a great way to do this. It provides an inexpensive amenity for residents and covers the cost of a station for the first two to three years, which is when you really need to build the base of users.”
Westall said to expect an announcement by the end of the summer on the the next round of station expansion. Final decisions are being made now on exactly where those new stations will go, but the numbers are set: there will be 15 stations added in Columbus, five in Upper Arlington, four in Bexley, and four in Grandview, for a total of 26 new stations.
A group of City and Regional Planning students from OSU provided recommendations for the station locations to the four jurisdictions.
A million dollar federal grant secured by the Mid Ohio Regional Planning Commission will help pay for the new stations, which could be installed as soon as next spring.
In other news, the company that runs CoGo, Motivate, announced plans to open an office in Downtown Columbus that will employ between 20 and 40 people.
The new office will initially handle customer support for San Fransisco’s new bike share system, Ford GoBike, but eventually will expand to cover Motivate systems in other cities. Motivate operates around the country, with large bike share systems in Chicago, New York, Washington, D.C., and Boston.
“We are excited to bring our quality customer service in-house and add new jobs to the Columbus economy,” said Jay Walder, President and CEO of Motivate, in a statement. “We choose to locate in Columbus since we knew that the city is a big champion for bike share and we are grateful for their partnership and support. We can use the presence of CoGo to train new employees on the ins and outs of bike share.”