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Capital Region Bikeshare Program Cruises Past Expectations In First Two Months

Over the summer, the Capital Region got its first bikesharing program. Officials announced this morning that the program is doing better than expected.

At the entrance to Congress Park on Broadway in Saratoga Springs, officials stood by the rack of green and purple CDPHP Cycle! Bikes to mark the first-two months of the bikeshare program.

Partnering with the Capital District Transportation Authority, CDPHP is the primary sponsor of the initiative to bring public bicycles to Saratoga, as well as Albany, Schenectady and Troy.

Brian O’Grady, Executive Vice President Chief Marketing Officer at CDPHP, said the rollout has been impressive.

“I mean, it’s exceeded all of our expectations,” said O’Grady.

Organizers were hoping to get 2,000 trips in their first two months. As of Thursday morning, the program has snagged more than 2,000 members taking 7,615 trips throughout the Capital Region. They point out that during those rides, riders shed 793,292 calories and reduced carbon emissions by 17,488 pounds.

In Saratoga Springs, riders made 1,121 trips. Mayor Joanne Yepsen said city residents and visitors alike want a more bikeable and walkable community.

“The people that live here want to be able to bike and walk safely around our city, and so I think the bikeshare program is another way to enable them to do that,” said Yepsen.

The most popular area for bikeshare use in the Spa City is Saratoga Spa State Park.

Albany leads the pack with 5,274 riders, with its busiest hub at the Corning Preserve.

In Troy, 764 riders used bikes adjacent to Prospect Park the most. In Schenectady, 456 riders checked out bikes most often downtown at the corner of Jay and State Streets.

CDTA CEO Carm Basile said the bikeshare program complements the agency’s buses.

“They use bikes now to connect to buses, they use buses to connect to bikes. It’s really great.”

And Basile points out that different communities use the bikes for different reasons.

“In Albany, for example, much more commuter oriented. Whereas up here, as you would expect, there’s a little bit of a tourist slant. But people will pick it up for half an hour to run errands or pick it up for half an hour to have a little bit of fun,” said Basile. “And next year after we return from winter hiatus the program will double. So ridership is just going to go up.”

The program will be active for two more months before it closes for the winter.

The average length of a bike trip is 33 minutes with an average distance of 2.8 miles. The longest trip logged on a CDPHP Cycle was 24 miles. 

For more information on how to rent a bicycle visit: https://cdphpcycle.com/

Lucas Willard is a reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011.
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