B-cycle, a public bike-sharing system, will operate during the winter for the first time since the program launched in Omaha in 2011.
People can rent a bike for a fee from one of eight stations in central and downtown Omaha, ride it and return it. It's meant for short commutes but people can use it for longer trips and recreationally, too.
Usually the stations close in December and reopen in March. This year the program will remain open to see how well the equipment withstands snow and road salt. The B-Cycle staff will also determine whether the solar-powered rental kiosks receive enough sunlight in the winter months to function.
Program director Ben Turner said they'll learn what winter usage looks like compared to the rest of the year, too.
“I think what we'll find is there's a temperature threshold,” he said.
Riders have taken more than 2,000 trips this year, a 92 percent increase compared to the 2012 season.
The expansion to downtown Omaha in August helped, Turner said. Half of the rides this season were taken after the additional three stations were installed at 1819 Farnam Street, at the intersection of 13th and Howard Streets and near the Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge.
B-Cycle bikes are also available at Aksarben Village and the University of Nebraska at Omaha's Dodge Street and Pacific Street campuses.
Click here to learn more about B-Cycle and locate a station.
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