With the number of riders on the decline for the first time in program history, Fort Worth B-Cycle has made plans to expand the program.
In 2018, Fort Worth Bike Sharing reported 43,200 trips were taken compared to the nearly 60,000 trips that were taken the year before.
Malorie Sarsgard, the marketing communications manager for Fort Worth Bike Sharing, said ridership is often affected by unfavorable weather conditions like rain or extreme heat.
As a way to attract more riders during the heat of the summer, Fort Worth Bike Sharing is introducing 50 new electric bikes in April. Sarsgard said the new bikes will allow riders to go twice as far in half the time.
The bike sharing program is hoping their next step would be a partnership with the Trinity Metro. This would allow people with a pass for the bus system or TEXRail to also have access to the bike sharing system.
With the growing trend of dockless bikes and scooters, Fort Worth Bike Sharing hopes to work with the Fort Worth city council to introduce a dockless scooter program.
Sarsgard said this would create an integrated system. The dockless scooters would be added to the already existing docked bike stations around the city.
While the company has plans to improve the system around the city, Sarsgard said she hopes to provide more services to TCU and its students.
Fort Worth B-Cycle started a bike sharing partnership with TCU in 2017. Enrolled students are granted a membership each semester, allowing them to ride for free.
Over the past two years, the program reported an increase in the number of student riders.
Fort Worth Bike Sharing has two stations near TCU’s campus, but Sarsgard said that might not be enough.
“For now the amount of riders we actually see, it would be beneficial, I think, to have more bikes available,” she said. “Whether that be at that particular station or different stations on campus.”
Will Beasley, a junior TCU student, said he thinks it would be beneficial to have more bikes available as students continue to use the system.
“It’s a perfect way for students to cheaply get around campus,” he said. “When I used them last weekend, one of the stands was almost completely empty and the other one only had a couple left.”
As the new changes start to take stride, the program hopes to get ridership numbers back on the rise.