Many residents are taking advantage of a local bike-sharing program and pedaling more miles than in the previous season.
Independent Health’s Reddy Bikeshare program released data about its second season in the region, and the numbers are encouraging. Trips increased 121 percent last season since its inaugural year in 2016.
Since Reddy Bikeshare's Buffalo debut, users have biked over 65,000 miles throughout 38,500 trips. This resulted in users burning 2.6 million calories collectively and on average spending just over 30 minutes biking each trip.
“We’re really excited about the growth in the number of riders that we have,” said Jennifer White, marketing and communications executive at Reddy Bikeshare. “We’ve had over 5,600 people on a Reddy Bike total in the past two seasons.”
Patrons pedal for various reasons, White added.
“People like to use the bikes for errands, exercise and fun and to see a point of view of the city that you miss in a car.”
Organizers have also witnessed an increased number of trips during peak commute times, signaling that
many people are using Reddy bikes to get to work and back.\
In 2016 the program’s parent company Shared Mobility Inc. received a grant to promote bicycle tourism in the city. This resulted in 200 bright red bikes being parked at 35 locations throughout Buffalo.
Ever since, the program has increased in popularity. Program participants range from college students to senior citizens.
What makes the bikes so appealing is that they feature easy to use technology that allows users to track their rides and burned calories. White said the app is simple and also allows program coordinators to track biking hotspots across the city. Canalside, Bidwell Parkway and Delaware Park are currently the most popular areas.
“We can actually track every single trip that a member takes on a bike, which is really cool to see how people are using the bikes and where they’re going,” White said. “[This] gives us really great inferences as to where we can add new locations or where we need more bike infrastructure as well.”
The program aims to give tourists an eco-friendly alternative to traversing the city. Organizers said a growing number of bikers have been taking advantage of the program during the warmer months, allowing them to fall in love with the Queen city all over again.
“I think what we’ve realized more in the second season is that we’re not just promoting biking, we’re promoting Buffalo,” White said. “[This] is getting easier and easier, because experiencing Buffalo in the spring and summer time just makes you keep falling in love with the city year after year, and Reddy Bikes can be that connection through it all.”
The program is expected to resume in April or May.