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70,000 miles, 23 flat tires — Lincoln's bike-share program rolling into second year
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70,000 miles, 23 flat tires — Lincoln's bike-share program rolling into second year


The fleet of rental bicycles introduced in April have already rolled almost 70,000 miles — nearly enough to circle the globe three times.

And they’re still rolling. Even after more than 28,000 trips — most of them short jaunts around downtown — all of the 100 BikeLNK bikes remain intact.

None of them broken, none of them stolen.

And just 23 flat tires, or one every 3,000 miles.

“They’re made durable,” said Jamie Granquist, BikeLNK manager. “Everything has held up really well to being in the elements, and being ridden by lots of different people at all times of the day.”

The bikes were busiest in September, when they were taken on nearly 5,400 trips. Despite the winter weather, customers and commuters are still riding them — almost 2,500 times during a bitter November, and closing in on 1,000 trips so far this month.

The service, a partnership between the city and BCycle, didn’t have specific ridership goals, she said. But Lincoln’s numbers are measured against use in comparable cities where BCycle operates, such as Omaha and Madison, Wisconsin. And Lincoln is holding up, she said.

“We’re off to a great start,” she said. “Everybody is really happy with the numbers that our riders are showing. They’re meeting and exceeding all expectations.”

Still, BikeLNK is using the slower season to overhaul the three-speed Treks, up to a half-dozen a day — taking each one apart, replacing cables, adjusting brakes, straightening wheels, lubing all of the moving parts, getting them ready for their second year.

And staffers have looked back at the first year, compiling a year-end report that shows how quickly the sharing service took off, and how quickly users made it part of their routine once the 19 kiosks opened around downtown and on UNL’s three campuses.

“The fact that so many people made it part of their life is very encouraging,” Granquist said.

A few of their findings:

* The bikes are used roughly three times more on any weekday than on Saturdays and Sundays — likely because of the number of students and workers downtown during the week.

* The bikes are busiest at 8 a.m, noon, and 5 p.m. — though they’ve been used at all hours of the day and night. The fewest trips were taken at 4 a.m.

* The three most popular routes — based on check-out and check-in logs — are from 11th and N streets to 14th and R; 14th and R back to 11th and N; and 14th and R to 21st and Q.

* At UNL, the most popular kiosks are 14th and R (4,960 trips); 19th and S (1,559); and 14th and Avery (1,866).

* The No. 1 rider has already logged 806 trips and 1,354 miles — 1,000 more miles than No. 2.

* Since April, BikeLNK riders have burned an estimated 2.6 million calories and prevented about 63,000 pounds of carbon emissions.

It’s too soon to announce any changes for 2019, Granquist said, though she would like to add more bikes to the fleet. It’s also considering requests for kiosks in other parts of the city — such as the North Bottoms, near the Children's Zoo, and in the Near South neighborhood.

“Nothing’s off the table,” she said. “We’re waiting to see what’s going to happen.”

Reach the writer at 402-473-7254 or

On Twitter @LJSPeterSalter.


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