Houston’s Newest Bike Share Station Opens At Near Northside Transit Center

Gail DeLaughter | Houston Public Media

Houston BCycle began with three downtown bike share kiosks back in 2012. Now it’s installed its 99th station at METRO’s Burnett Transit Center in the Near Northside neighborhood.

“With the addition of this one we’ve got our own mini-network of bike share going on here in Northside and that’s when we start to see ridership take off,” said Henry Morris, who handles BCycle’s development and communications. “If in a specific neighborhood we have enough stations with enough density for people to get from point to point using the bike share system, and especially if those stations are connected to Metro pickup and drop-off points, we see ridership soar.”

The Burnett Transit Center features METRO’s only elevated light rail stop and it also serves several local bus routes. Riders can use BCycle to connect to other nearby bike share kiosks, like the ones at St. Arnold’s Brewery, the Leonel Castillo Community Center, and the University of Houston-Downtown.  

As for overall BCycle ridership, Morris added that they made some interesting findings after Tropical Storm Imelda’s floods last week. He said they put out an email to the 200 people who checked out bikes the day of the floods. Between 20 and 30 people responded saying they were grateful for the service.

“They didn’t want to risk getting their car stuck or they just had a certain distance they could go via bike,” said Morris. “We’re really proud to be able to offer people that option.”

Morris said they also saw strong ridership after Harvey two years ago.

“During the weeks after Harvey our usage actually rose because so many people were without their cars that bike share proved to be a useful option during that time,” explained Morris.

Morris said they’re also working to expand their service to people who may not have a credit or debit card to rent a bike at a kiosk. They’re now trying out the new GO Pass, which allows people unlimited rides for $3.00 a month.

Riders showing proof of income can purchase those passes in cash at the Change Happens! community non-profit in the Third Ward at 3353 Elgin Street. Morris said they hope to make those passes available through more community partners in the future.

Henry Morris