Bike Share in New Orleans
Beautiful, flat, tight-knit, and a favorite tourist destination – New Orleans is built for Bike Share
In 2013, one of Bike Easy’s biggest advocacy pushes was for a bike share system for New Orleans. Through high-profile events, behind-the-scenes work, and outreach to national vendors, Bike Easy worked to bring bike share to New Orleans with an initial target date of 2014. We partnered with local power brokers Entergy, Downtown Development District, and the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation.
In 2017, after years of advocacy from Bike Easy and the City Council Sustainable Transportation Action Committee, particularly the leadership of Councilmember Kristin Giselson Palmer and Mayor Mitch Landrieu, bike share debuted in New Orleans with the launch of Blue Bikes Nola.
At the time of this writing in November 2020, New Orleans is unfortunately without an operating bike share system. Upon the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, Uber and Lime pulled the plug on Blue Bikes. However, over the 2+ years during Blue Bikes operation, bike share was successful and growing in use among both local residents and among tourists. Bike Easy is committed to the return of bike share to New Orleans and the region.
Below were the hallmarks of Bike Easy’s campaign for bike share in New Orleans, beginning in 2013:
BEHIND THE SCENES: BRING BICYCLE SHARE TO NEW ORLEANS
Our Ask! – Bike Easy’s goal to raise $20,000 this holiday season to pay for the work it will take to bring diverse stakeholders together and implement a bicycle share system in New Orleans.
What is Bike Share? – Bike Share is a network of bicycles and automated kiosks that allows users to make short trips (1 to 3 miles) quickly, conveniently and affordably. Bicycle share is in over 100 European and 23 American cities. A small scale bicycle share system (e.g. 200 bicycles) would have a profound impact on improving New Orleans’ transportation network.
What impact will it have on New Orleans?
- Biking Safety – More bicycles on the road have created safer streets in communities around the world. Bicycle share gets more people on bicycles and improves safety for everyday riders.
- Economic Development – It will increase visitor and resident ability to get around town and spend money at local businesses.
- Social Equity – Improving access to disadvantaged populations will help build wealth and equity in New Orleans.
- Reduced Traffic – More people on bikes means fewer cars on roads.
Implementation Plan – Bike Share is simple to implement. Experience elsewhere has produced a winning model for implementation. Bike Easy has begun convening stakeholders through the Sustainable Transportation Advisory Committee, and needs support to:
- Advocate to City Hall for appropriate policy changes at City Planning Commission and Department of Public Works to streamline siting stations.
- Partner with local groups and funders to raise a $300,000 local match.
- Apply with the Regional Planning Commission and City of New Orleans for $1.2M in federal aid to underwrite the system.
Funding Needed For The Campaign – Each dollar that you give as a Sustaining Member will be matched by a local donor. Advocacy is the most effective way to make the changes we seek in the city and we’re proud to be the most effective advocate for your interests. Bicycle share is one tool to improve our community for all residents.