WILLIAMSVILLE, NY, March 21, 2016 – Independent Health and Shared Mobility Inc. (SMI) are teaming up to bring an innovative bike share program to Buffalo this summer. The Buffalo bike share program, to be known as “Reddy Bikeshare,” will launch with 200 bikes.
The goal is to provide local residents and visitors with an alternate form of transportation that supports healthy, active lifestyles while also providing a fun and easy way to explore the waterfront, downtown and surrounding neighborhoods. A bike share program makes bicycles easily available to individuals for shared use on a short-term basis, allowing users to rent a bike from one of the numerous hub locations and return it to any hub location.
“This partnership will add to the growing bike culture and revolution in the Queen City, putting us on the map with cities like Portland and Pittsburgh,” said Michael Galligano, CEO, Shared Mobility Inc. “We’re thrilled to operate one of the nation’s leading, most technologically advanced bike share programs and to join forces with Independent Health to help get people more active.”
“As long-time supporters of GOBike Buffalo and other efforts to make our city streets more bike-friendly, we are absolutely delighted to join forces with Shared Mobility to bring this program to the Buffalo/Niagara region,” said Michael W. Cropp, M.D., president and CEO, Independent Health. “In addition to helping create a culture of health in Western New York by supporting recreation and exercise, Reddy Bikeshare will provide an alternative means of transportation, boost the local economy and further advance the revitalization of Buffalo.”
“Buffalo is a bicycle friendly city that is committed to expanding its bicycle infrastructure and supporting the growing small business opportunities from the bicycle industry,” said Mayor Byron Brown, noting that Buffalo will have more than 90 miles of bike lanes and hundreds of racks throughout the city by the end of the year. “This new bike share program, presented by Shared Mobility and Independent Health to bring 200 state-of-the-art bike share bikes to Buffalo, helps achieve my goal of making Buffalo one of the most bicycle friendly cities in the country, while providing our residents and visitors with another healthy transportation option for getting around our city.”
Reddy Bikeshare will begin operation this summer with 200 GPS bicycles manufactured by Social Bicycles (Sobi) featuring built-in solar panels, to be located at numerous hubs throughout Buffalo.
According to Galligano, Sobi’s smart bike technology will make it extremely easy to join as a member, and to locate and reserve a bike. The program will feature two affordable plans, one for frequent users and one for occasional users.
“The bikes will track calories burned, the distance traveled and the duration of the ride, along with the estimated reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and a calculation of the money saved instead of driving,” said Dr. Cropp. “And, our Independent Health members will receive a discount.”
In addition to joining forces with SMI, Independent Health recently announced a partnership with Buffalo RiverWorks, Buffalo’s newest waterfront, boating, sports, music, and entertainment destination. The health plan also provides a number of other community programs and initiatives including the “Independent Health and Buffalo Bills Health & Wellness Challenge,” Healthy Options® at Food Truck Tuesdays, Fitness in the Parks, and the Independent Health Family Branch YMCA. The Independent Health Foundation also offers a number of signature programs including First Night® Buffalo, Fitness for Kids and Kids Run, and Good for the Neighborhood®.
Bike share systems currently operate in more than 60 U.S. cities, including Phoenix, Tampa, Orlando and Boise. The city of Portland just announced it will operate a 1,000-bike Sobi system sponsored by Nike and the city of Santa Monica has launched a 500-bike Sobi system sponsored by Hulu.
Reddy BikeShare grows out of SMI's success in piloting a smaller program of 40 bicycles in partnership with the University at Buffalo. In 2015, UB students took 7,500 unique trips and traveled over 11,000 miles. With the 200-bike Reddy bike share system, SMI will now manage 240 total bikes in the region. The UB program grew out of a 2012 beta test sponsored by NYSERDA and NYSDOT that gave Buffalo the honor of hosting the nation's first GPS-based bike share program.
About Shared Mobility
Shared Mobility Inc. (SMI) is a Buffalo-based nonprofit that advances innovative transportation services that focus on a shared model. Using cutting-edge technology and best practices, Shared Mobility Inc. builds mobility systems that serve neglected communities and smaller, more challenging markets. SMI was incubated by Buffalo CarShare - which was sold to Zipcar in 2015 - and this same core staff continues their commitment to the expansion of carsharing in Buffalo. From ridesourcing companies like Uber and Lyft to carsharing and bikesharing systems, SMI focuses on community-based strategies to improve mobility for everyone and grow these networks for lasting impact.For further information, visit www.sharedmobility.org.