The bike share becomes a real boy!

It even comes with a handy acronym? And will be a thing sometime in the near future!

Update #1 — June 9, 2016; 2:01 PM

We’ve updated the sections about funding and fees. Please take a gander!

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Original — June 08, 2016

It’s official (again?)–we’re getting a bike share.

We don’t know when, exactly, but Richmond bike share has been officially branded. The B! With cute somewhat apian branding done by Elevation, the bike share will feature equipment by Bewegen Technologies–220 bikes with 20-22 docking stations.

What do the bikes look like?


What will the stations look like, so that I may keep an eye out for them?


Cute, eh? I spent exactly 60 seconds trying to come up with something to make fun of about it, but I came up short. And also was given a Please Cease This Line of Thinking look from my boss.

Who paid for this and maybe can they pay for mowing and stuff, too?

Program funding came from the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program, which is given to the Commonwealth so as to help out programs and projects that reduce emissions and traffic congestion. In Virginia, those programs and projects are selected by metropolitan planning organizations, which in turn are made up of elected officials. In this case, the project was selected by the Richmond Regional Transportation Planning Organization.

It’s important to note (and thank you Chuck Gates for helping us understand this), that the B is a regional collaboration, in that the RRTPO is made up of officials from Charles City, Chesterfield, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, New Kent, Powhatan, Ashland, and Richmond City Council. And they’ve voted to spend $3 million of those CMAQ funds on bike sharing (to cover both Phase I and Phase II).

According to the City, they matched 20% of the first phase, which clocked in at $1.34 million, with $393,000 paid to Berwegen to operate the system during the first year.

No, the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program is not going to pay for mowing. Although that’s just a guess, so feel free to prove me wrong.

Cost to the consumer (that’s you!)

Pending City Council approval, the B will offer an annual membership, a one-month membership, a 7-day pass, and a 1-day pass. BUT, hold onto your bike shorts, the first 0-45 minutes are free.

Here’s the fee schedule:


This required so much thought and effort on my part, which is maybe their fault and maybe mine for being slow. really, but the first chart gets you those first 45 minutes, and the second chart is what happens when you go over that 45 minutes. If you buy any of the options on the first chart, you immediately get a bike for 45 minutes! Woo! And if you’ve got a 24-hour pass, say, you’ll keep getting 45-minute joyrides as long as you keep turning bikes in. If you have a single bike out for longer than 45 minutes, the extra fees begin to apply.

But when? WHEN??

The City of Richmond did not choose to release that information, although it’s expected to be late summer or early fall–it all still has to be approved anyway. The Urban Design Committee gets the application tomorrow, and City Council will see it on Monday. Let’s all cross our fingers that no tree will have to be removed, or this could take longer than hoped.

OK, I am ready for the acronym now

I recommend shouting it to other B users as you pass each other on the street. When not passing another user, please just maintain a low buzzing sound.

  • S is for Speed – Richmond Bike Share is a fast way to reach places that are too far to walk and yet too close to drive.
  • H is for Health – Richmond Bike Share is good for you – and the earth.
  • A is for Access – Richmond Bike Share gives everyone access to more of the city.
  • R is for Reliability – Richmond Bike Share is a reliable form of transportation.
  • E is for Ease – Richmond Bike Share is easy to use.
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Susan Howson

Susan Howson is managing editor for this very website. She writes THE BEST bios.

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