NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — A little more than a year after suspending its service due to the coronavirus pandemic, Blue Bikes are ready to roll again in the City of New Orleans. The local bikeshare program, which is operated by community-based nonprofit Blue Krewe, will relaunch it’s fleet with 504 pedal-assist e-bikes hitting the streets prior to its expected date of Sept. 1.
Hubs throughout the city will be filled with bikes starting this week so that residents, tourists and visitors who have signed up for Blue Bikes can begin riding before the Labor Day weekend. Those not already signed up are invited to do so.
“We are excited to see Blue Bikes returning to our streets sooner than expected, to give our residents and visitors more affordable transportation options,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “I want to encourage everyone to get out and enjoy the outdoors over Labor Day weekend, and spend some time bicycling around our city.”
The first incarnation of Blue Bikes, launched in 2017, saw more than 66,000 riders sign up for more than 700,000 trips combined. According to a Blue Bikes report, the two-wheeled transports were ridden more than 1 million miles, which constituted a substantial carbon offset for the region and generating a gasoline cost savings of nearly $700,000.
“Blue Bikes returning to city streets means New Orleanians once again have a healthy, environmentally friendly, affordable way to get to work, to medical appointments or to just have fun,” said Dr. Jeremy Wigginton, a medical director with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, Blue Bikes’ title sponsor. “And with the ongoing COVID-19 surge, bikeshare is a more socially distanced form of transportation than riding inside a vehicle with others. This will help people get around easily while staying safe and taking precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19, particularly the highly contagious Delta variant.”
How to Ride
To ride Blue Bikes, download the Blue Bikes Nola app, which is available in the App Store and Google Play. People can choose from different ridership plans and payment options to use Blue Bikes:
- The Pay As You Go option costs 15 cents per minute and includes a $1 unlocking fee. There is no ongoing commitment required for this You will be charged only for the time you use (per minute).
- The Monthly Membership option costs $25 and lets you unlock a Blue Bike without a fee anytime you ride. Monthly memberships include up to an hour of free ride time per day, which you can use in multiple trips.
- Through the Blue Bikes for All program, New Orleans residents who qualify for Medicaid or Louisiana Purchase (S/NAP) can get a reduced ridership plan of $4 per month.