Bike Sharing Comes to Lincoln
by Jamie Granquist
BikeLNK is the latest and most innovative active transportation option available that you can use to explore the Capital City.
In early 2014, UNL’s student government asked the city of Lincoln to examine the impact, benefits and feasibility of bringing a bike share program to the community. The Lincoln Planning Department took on the project. They held a public workshop for input—including public surveys available online—for suggested bike share kiosk stations throughout Lincoln. And in 2016 Lincoln was awarded, a $600,000 Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) grant for the project. With additional support from public works, the Lincoln planning department set out to make bike sharing a reality. Heartland Bike Share, a 501c3 nonprofit which owns and operates Heartland BCycle in Omaha was also brought on board for oversight and daily management of the new bike share system in Lincoln, which is now called BikeLNK.
With the addition of local funding from organizations like the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the Lincoln Community Foundation, Spreetail, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska, Nelnet, Speedway, and Assurity, the dream of bringing bike sharing to the capital city was realized. April 20, 2018 was the official launch celebration of 100 bikes in 19 BikeLNK BCycle kiosks—mostly in downtown Lincoln, with a few located on Innovation and East Campus as well.
Lincoln is a great town for bike riding with its relatively flat terrain combined with a close and predictable gridwork of streets. Coupled with over 135 miles of separate bike trails, protected bikeways, and an extensive network of on street bike facilities, it’s easy to see why Lincoln, Nebraska is the perfect place for bike sharing.
BikeLNK has a user friendly price structure based on trips of 30 minutes or less. The $3 for 30 minutes Quick Tripper pass is for a single use ride available at any BikeLNK bike share kiosk. Other kinds of passes are available through the website, BikeLNK.com and on the app, BCycle. A $10 Visiting Voyager pass buys 72 hours of BikeLNK access to unlimited 30 minutes or less trips. It’s meant to appeal to the long weekend visitor or when a high number of trips are needed in a short amount of time. Monthly and Aluminum Access memberships provide unlimited access to the bike share bikes for 30 minutes or less trips. The Monthly pass is $12 and an annual Aluminum Access is $80. Rides over the initially purchased pass types, which include the first 30 minutes of every ride, incur an additional $3 every 30 minutes fee therafter.
Riding with BikeLNK is easy. There are several ways to purchase a pass—whether at the BikeLNK kiosk station, website @ BikeLNK.com, or the BCycle app, you’ll find a method and price that works for you. There are also many promotion codes available through local workplaces or at grassroots events, along with student and community groups, as well as special discounted military and senior rates. With all of these options for visitors and community members alike, it’s easy to see how bike sharing works for the capital city. So grab your bike helmet and your love of fun times!