Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana will once again be the title sponsor for New Orleans bike share, and the system will again be named “Blue Bikes”!
Bike Easy applauds this extraordinary step towards bringing bike share back to New Orleans and ensuring that it creates equitable transportation access for the people of New Orleans. Big thanks to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana! With an additional 50 miles of protected bikeways scheduled for construction this year, we can’t wait to ride the new Blue Bikes through these newly improved Complete Streets.
Between the return of bike share and the speedy advancement of the Moving New Orleans Bikes plan, 2021 is poised to be a breakout year for biking in Greater New Orleans.
The full announcement from Blue Krewe, the new non-profit dedicated to bringing bike share back to New Orleans, and the City of New Orleans is below. Bike Easy Executive Director, Dan Favre, is a founding board member of Blue Krewe. Read more about Bike Easy’s role in bringing bike share back in this blog post.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 18, 2020
Blue Cross Announced as Title Sponsor of New Orleans Bike Share Program
System will again be named “Blue Bikes”
NEW ORLEANS – Blue Krewe and the City of New Orleans announced today that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana will remain the title sponsor of New Orleans’ bike share program. The insurer was the title sponsor of the original Blue Bikes program, which launched in 2017. With this commitment, when bike share resumes on Crescent City streets later this year, the program will again be called Blue Bikes.
“We’ve remained committed to Blue Bikes because we know from our experience that this program is successful and fills a vital need in New Orleans,” said Rod Teamer, Blue Cross director of Diversity Program and Business Development. “Our mission is to improve the health and lives of Louisianians, and we take tremendous pride in sponsoring an alternative, healthy mode of transportation for New Orleans residents, visitors and tourists. We have missed seeing the Blue Bikes on the streets of New Orleans. They have become a part of the fabric of this community — bayous, beignets and Blue Bikes.”
“We look forward to seeing Blue Bikes rolling through New Orleans again,” said Dan Wagner, Blue Cross regional director for New Orleans. “Ridership dramatically increased throughout the first two years of the program because New Orleanians relied on Blue Bikes to get to work, to healthcare appointments, to the grocery store, for exercise or as their primary mode of transportation. With the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen bike share take off in other markets because people feel more comfortable socially distancing with this form of transportation. We are proud we can again offer this option in New Orleans, and we look forward to working with City of New Orleans, Blue Krewe and our local partners to make it an even bigger success.”
“Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s continued dedication to the bike share program is a vital component to ensuring as much continuity as possible as we work to bring the program back into service,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “We appreciate their decision to sponsor Blue Bikes and their partnership to improve the health of our residents.”
When the former program operator, Lime, ended bike share in New Orleans in 2020, this ended Blue Cross’ original sponsorship commitment. Now, Blue Krewe has entered into a new five-year sponsorship agreement with Blue Cross.
Blue Cross worked with Uber, which was the Blue Bikes operator before being acquired by Lime, to make sure the Blue Bikes social media handles and website would stay with the program. As part of the sponsorship agreement, Blue Cross is transitioning these to Blue Krewe for use in the new bike share program.
“We are thrilled to have Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana continue their support of bikeshare in New Orleans,” said Dr. Corey Hebert, Board President of Blue Krewe. “Their partnership in this new, locally controlled nonprofit model establishes a solid foundation for building healthy, equitable and sustainable active transportation in the community.“
Geoff Coats, the CEO of Blue Krewe, added, “It is heartening to see the coalition coming together supporting this vision for the future of New Orleans. In addition to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana returning as the primary sponsor, Blue Krewe recently received a donation from Uber of the existing Blue Bikes racks. This generous donation allows for a quicker return of bike share and ensures that even more resources can be devoted to achieving our equity and sustainability goals.”
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About Blue Krewe
Blue Krewe is the new nonprofit formed to bring bike share back to New Orleans in partnership with Mayor Cantrell and the New Orleans City Council and with leadership and fiscal support from the Greater New Orleans Foundation and other generous donors. Blue Krewe is working to build a better world by getting more people moving sustainably and by removing barriers to active transportation. With title sponsorship from Blue Cross Blue Shield Louisiana, Blue Krewe is will return bikes to the streets of New Orleans by September 1, 2021.
City of New Orleans
The Mayor’s Office of Transportation is designed to ensure communication among departments and external partners to promote transportation priorities that encourage safety, equity, regional connectivity and multi-modal accommodations to provide for the future prosperity of the City and its citizens.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is committed to our mission to improve the health and lives of Louisianians. Founded in New Orleans in 1934, we are a tax-paying nonprofit health insurer with offices in every major region to serve our customers. We were recognized in 2019 and 2020 as an honoree of The Civic 50, named by Points of Light as one of the 50 most community-minded companies in the United States.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. We are a private mutual company, owned by our policyholders, with an independent Louisiana Board of Directors and no shareholders. We invite all Louisianians to visit our website at www.bcbsla.com or talk to us on social media.