Biketober & BCycle

October 12, 2023

By Alessandra Bicudo Alvares 


With so many initiatives and partnerships coming to fruition in an effort to address climate change, electrification is emerging as a top priority for UCSC, including for transportation access. Electrify, electrify, electrify…and electrify, they did!

UCSC’s Transportation Office (TAPS), Ecology Action, City of Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz County, City of Watsonville, Capitola, Cabrillo College and BCycle partnered in an ambitious and unprecedented collaboration to launch an electric bike share program to increase access to active transportation options. 

Santa Cruz BCycle was first launched on campus and in the City of Santa Cruz, and its expansion to Aptos, Capitola, Watsonville, Cabrillo College, as well as unincorporated parts of Santa Cruz County is anticipated to begin in early 2024. 

“We're energized by the success of BCycle since its summer launch. It's a critical program that enables our affiliates to get around much more easily without a car, which reduces both  carbon emissions and parking demand on campus. We look forward to continuing to work with BCycle to make e-bike share part of the fabric of our campus”, says Dan Henderson, TAPS Executive Director.

The low-cost, full-price memberships are available for $150 per year, $30 per month, and $7 per single ride in the BCycle app. To allow more ridership across the University and town, the program made joining easy; it is supported by an efficient system with strategic locations and abundant bikes that are neatly available from their docks.

UCSC offered a very low cost
membership for University affiliates, and ise-bike-share.jpg currently at capacity. New applicants can join a waiting list to become part of the over 4,000 members who presently enjoy UCSC discounted memberships.
"More subsidized memberships may be made available to our affiliates in the future as we evaluate the ridership and ability for the system to support the number of active users," said TAPS Executive Director Dan Henderson.

Ridership has ramped up with the start of the school year and trip numbers demonstrate the program’s popularity. In August there was an average of 1.6 trips per day compared to 5.5 trips per day in September. In the last week of the month, BCycle logged 10,000 trips! 

BCycle currently has 370 bikes in the system and 3,000 active users. Early feedback received from riders includes:
Easy to use bike service and fun to ride. I live in a suburban town in Southern California. I wish we had access to services like this near my home.” – Natasha; They are really cool!” – Ean; Accurate data on the app, bikes are nice - a convenient service to have available and a pleasure to take a ride instead of drive. It gets me out of my office on my breaks, sometimes to just take a quick ride around campus - super fun!.” – Chris.

Riders are also sharing constructive feedback:
BCycles are easy to use, safe, fun, and convenient! I recommended it to my visiting family and a stranger on Reddit, and they only had positive things to say. Two critical pieces of feedback:
1. I wish it was clearer that you can unlock multiple bikes. I had friends visiting, they each bought a month, and then I realized I could unlock multiple bikes from my account. You should market that one account is good for unlocking multiple bikes.
2. More stations please! Especially around north Ocean Street and along Mission Street.
Fantastic service, thank you! – Justin.

With Biketober in full swing, there are lots of events and giveaways in town and on campus. Check out this Biketober Events page for more information and take advantage of all the incentives to join the “biking wagon”, or participate in activities with a BCycle or any other bicycle.

UCSC affiliates can check out Slug Bike Life for free access to bike safety workshops, helmet and light distributionevents, bike repair clinics, group rides, e-bike demos, and campus leader trainings. Slug Bike Life will host 11 events 
across campus during Fall Quarter. Campus units and/or organizations can reach out to Slug Bike Life to request custom bike safety and encouragement events.

To further support bike safety on campus, TAPS launched a free bike helmet program that is available to all active UCSC affiliates. Those in need of a helmet can request one through TAPS and pick it up on Fridays from 1:30-5:00 pm. Sign up to get a helmet today


 What about you? Have you tried BCycle yet?