Making wishes come true with bike program

Carson Make A Wish (Photo: GREENbike)

Making dreams come true has never been easier than with Greenbike, Salt Lake City's urban bike-sharing program.

This year, Greenbike is releasing a “Make A Wish Bike,” a bike wrapped in Make A Wish Utah Foundation branding. Every time the bike is ridden, Greenbike and SelectHealth donate $1 to the Make A Wish Foundation of Utah, said the program's founder and director, Ben Bolte.

Well into its third season, Greenbike now boasts 210 bikes and 25 stations around downtown Salt Lake.

Think of Greeenbike as the bicycle version Uber. Riders can purchase a 24-hour, 4-day, or annual membership which grants them access to unlimited 30 or 60 minute bike trips, respectively. No bike chains, frustration or strings attached.

Three years ago, at the program’s launch, they had only 10 stations. Greenbike has since expanded 264 percent, and every consecutive week since expanding last month has been its biggest ridership in organizational history.

The program goal is to create a service that results in a zero carbon footprint and makes the environment better, while enhancing health, air and quality of life.

So far, it seems to be working. Approximately 75 percent of Greenbikers said that the program inspired them to take fewer car trips, and 62 percent of riders are more likely to use other modes of public transit because of Greenbike.

Last year, 14,538 people rode 113 Greenbikes 46,264 times in 265 days, an average of 411 trips per bike. Passes are good for use in 15 cities and will extend to Los Angeles next season.

Annual memberships cost $75, which includes an online profile, a card that allows users to unlock any bike and an ‘I Bike SLC’ helmet. For $100, members can get their name on a Greenbike for one year.

Greenbike also offers an "office pass" offering annual membership bundles to companies for discounted prices.

This year, the company has sold triple the number of memberships as in previous years.

With stations including the Rocky Mountain Power Station (250S Main St), the Key Bank Station (South Temple Main St.) and the Harmons Station (100S State) averaging between 50-60 checkouts a day, GREENbike is growing fast.

As the program expands, the focus will be on creating a network of bicycle stations that factor in population, housing, employment, and landmarks, among other things.

The program aims to have 30 bike share stations with 260 active bikes by 2016, with the end goal of 100 stations with 1,000 bikes by 2020.

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