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TypePrivately held
Number of locations
47 systems [1]
Area served
United States[1]
Key people
Bob Burns, President
ServicesBicycle sharing system

BCycle is a public bicycle sharing company owned by Trek Bicycle[1] and is based in Waterloo, Wisconsin, United States.[2] It has 47 local systems operating in cities across the United States. However, in several cities it operates under a name other than BCycle (i.e., CAT Bike, Red Bike, GREENbike, etc.)[3][1]


The BCycle system consists of bicycles and solar-powered stations positioned throughout a city or region. The result is a slight variation in the system, depending on the city of operation. Such variations can include differences in pricing and operating under a name other than BCycle. Notwithstanding, even though they may operate under different names, their stations will still include the logo with a circled "B" (but perhaps with a different color outer circle). Variations are also affected by the primary sponsors of the local system.

BCycle's 2.0 bike share system in front of the Trek Bicycle headquarters in Waterloo, Wisconsin.
Solar powered Boulder B-cycle station with double sided docks.

Users of the system can purchase annual memberships or just a day or week pass. The system is intended for short trips rather than using an automobile or bike rentals.[4] They can then check out and return bikes at any station in their city.[5] Depending on the local system and type of membership or pass, users can keep the bicycles for 30–60 minutes without any additional charge for an unlimited number of times. Bicycles can be used longer for a nominal hourly assessment. However, if a bicycle is returned to any station, it can usually be immediately checked back out for an additional 30-60 free minutes.[6][7] Another variation is dates and hours of operations. Some systems do not operate at night and some do not operate during the winter months. Notwithstanding the variations, annual memberships are recognized in most BCycle cities in a reciprocity program called "B-connected."[8] The cost of annual memberships vary from US$50 to US$80.

The bicycles used by BCycle were designed specifically for bike sharing by Trek Bicycle.[9]


In 2007, the founding partners of BCycle, Trek and health care insurance company Humana, launched their bike sharing venture with the nation's largest ever temporary bike sharing program at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado. Called Freewheelin, this program made 1,000 bikes available to the delegates at both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.[10][11] The programs proved so successful that the Democratic host committee selected bike sharing as a special legacy program to receive a donation to launch the country's first smart bike sharing system.

Following the Democratic National Convention, Trek, Humana and advertising agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky formed B-Cycle, LLC to develop a technologically and visually appealing bike share system. The joint venture worked with a non-profit created to operate the system, Denver Bike Sharing, operating as Denver B-cycle, to launch with 500 bikes and 40 stations in Denver on Earth Day, April 22, 2010.[12][13][14] In 2018, the eighth year of Denver B-cycle, it received a US$400,000 subsidy from the City of Denver government.[15]

Controversy and competition[edit]

Denver, Colorado[edit]

In 2018, controversy emerged on the Denver City Council, with criticism that "B-cycle is mainly in areas where it's white and wealthy and not in neighborhoods of color and working-class neighborhoods where transit is a need."[15] Substantial competition to dockable bicycle transportation has emerged from unsubsidized "[d]ockless bike and scooter companies have flocked to Denver," including Jump bicycles and Lime scooters.[15]

In mid-November 2019, the city announced the end of the B-cycle operation, with 700 bikes and all stations to be removed by the end of January 2020.[16][17][18]


A 15 dock, solar powered station in Denver
Philly Indego Bikeshare

As of April 2015, B-cycle has bicycle sharing systems in the following areas:[3]

United States[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "B cycle: leadership and innovation in bike sharing (media kit)". bcycle.com. B-Cycle. Feb 2014. p. 2. Archived from the original on June 26, 2014. Retrieved 19 Aug 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Contact B-cycle". bcycle.com. B-Cycle. Retrieved 16 Apr 2015.
  3. ^ a b "B cycle cities". bcycle.com. B-Cycle. Feb 2014. Retrieved 19 Aug 2014.
  4. ^ Sumner, Jason (8 Mar 2011). "Bikes meant for sharing, B-Cycle and BIXI: Urban PressCamp highlights equipment behind North America's public bike shares". bikeradar.com. Retrieved 19 Aug 2014.
  5. ^ Jentzen, Aaron (3 Jul 2011). "Users fitting bike share into their lifestyles". San Antonio Express-News. San Antonio: Hearst Corporation. Retrieved 19 Aug 2014.
  6. ^ "GREENbike: SLC Bike Share". greenbikeslc.org. B Cycle. Retrieved 19 Aug 2014.
  7. ^ "GREENbike FAQs". greenbikeslc.org. B Cycle. Archived from the original on January 11, 2014. Retrieved 19 Aug 2014. Can I check out a bike immediately after returning a bike? Yes.
  8. ^ Graham Richard, Michael (18 Mar 2013). "B-Cycle bike-sharing membership now works in 15 U.S. cities". treehugger.com. MNN Holding Company, LLC. Retrieved 19 Aug 2014.
  9. ^ "B cycle: leadership and innovation in bike sharing (media kit)". bcycle.com. B-Cycle. Feb 2014. p. 4. Archived from the original on June 26, 2014. Retrieved 19 Aug 2014.
  10. ^ Post, Jenel Stelton-Holtmeier | The Denver (2008-05-15). "DNC offers chance to go free-wheelin'". The Denver Post. Retrieved 2020-01-03.
  11. ^ "Freewheelin at the Democratic National Convention: "What a great ride!" | Humana Healthcare". press.humana.com. 2008-08-29. Retrieved 2020-01-03.
  12. ^ Profis, Sharon (2010-04-21). "B-cycle bike sharing to be the largest in U.S." CNET. Retrieved 2020-01-03.
  13. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". denverbikesharing.org. Retrieved 19 Aug 2014.
  14. ^ Huang, James (23 Apr 2010). "First big US bike share scheme debuts in Denver, Colorado: B-Cycle starts with 400 bicycles across 40 stations". bikeradar.com. Retrieved 19 Aug 2014.
  15. ^ a b c Navarro, Natalia V. (31 August 2018). "As Bikes And Scooters Put Their Stamp On Denver, B-Cycle Talks Expansion, Subsidies". Colorado Public Radio. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  16. ^ "Denver B-cycle to end operations". KUSA. 2019-11-21. Retrieved 2020-01-03.
  17. ^ a b Hern, Elizabeth; Ehern, Ez | (2019-11-21). "Denver B-cycle to end, city may thin herd of scooter operators as it tightens regulation of "micromobility" services". The Denver Post. Retrieved 2020-01-03.
  18. ^ Bouchard, Jay (2019-11-21). "B-Cycle in Denver Will Cease Operations at the End of January". 5280. Retrieved 2020-01-03.

External links[edit]