NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Blue Bikes, the popular bike-share program ended a few years ago after the parent company abandoned the concept in the city.
But starting Monday, the bikes are back with a boost! Whether you used them to tour the city, commute to work, or exercise, the Blue Bikes are back with a launch of pedal-assisted machines hitting the streets.
Geoff Coats, CEO Blue Krewe the new operator of the city’s bike-share program explains why they feel the program will succeed this time.
“The great thing here is that we’ve been working to put together, we now have a local non-profit management system, so we’ve taken the profit motive out of it,” Coats explained. “Previously, we would have ideas about how to make the system work better for New Orleans, but then sometimes we would hear from the owners ‘That doesn’t scale in Barcelona or that doesn’t work in another city.”
Coats was General Manager of the old arrangement and he’s happy to head the effort to bring the service to the city, but also bringing back the jobs.
“To be able to rehire a lot of the team members that I had to let go of previously, it’s like a homecoming. It’s fantastic,” Coats added.
The Blue Krewe delivered bikes to neighborhoods on Monday in every way imaginable, from vans to bikes.
The Blue Krewe and has also instituted rules to better handle the menace of bikes being left all over town.
‘We have a system where when you go to end your ride now, not only do you have to lock the bike up, but you have to take a photo of it,” said Coats. “We review all of those photos, so we’re going to have a lot better eyes on it.”
Blue Bikes has a host of payment plans for locals. There are affordable monthly plans and even reduced options for folks on Medicaid or those that qualify for SNAP.
Find more info at the Bluebikesnola app or at bluebikesnola.com