As someone who hasn’t had their own car since 2000, I can assure you that Buffalo’s public transit network is lacking.
If you need to get around without a car and you’re not near the Metro Rail or a main bus route, you might be waiting for an hour or more, or doing a lot of walking.
You’ve probably seen the racks of red bikes popping up around town, a concept that has been rolled out in cities across the world and has finally made it to Buffalo. You’ll be glad to know you aren’t restricted to just traveling between the bright red bike stations. For a nominal charge, you can park a Reddy bike to any bike rack in the city and leaving it there without worry.
To participate in the bikeshare, you first need to sign up (a pretty painless process, we promise) with Social Bikes, the company behind the local Reddy Bike program. You can sign up over the web or the SoBi app and the company has a few different programs for people who need the bikes for different reasons.
If, for instance, your car is going to be off the road for a bit and you want to use a Reddy bike to get around, the Hourly Pass gives you 30 days of access for an $8.50 activation fee. Using a bike on the Hourly Pass costs you 6 cents per minute.
If you live or work near a Reddy bike station and want to make it part of your transportation options, the Annual Pass has an activation fee of $55.50 and bike usage costs just 1 cent per minute.
If you have a group of four or less people that want to ride around the city, the Group Pass costs $20.00. It allows you to access up to four bikes on a single pass and rides cost 6 cents per minute.
Both UB students and Independent Health members can get access at a discount.
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You’re allowed to make multiple stops within a single trip. You just have put the bike on “hold” while you’re making a stop. A bike can be held for up to two hours, and during this time – you are still being charged by the minute.
You’ll have to lock the Reddy bike up somewhere at the end of your journey and the bikeshare may charge you based on where you leave the bike. If you leave it off at one of the Reddy stations or along certain stretches (see map), it’s free.
If you park it in one of Reddy’s “Preferred Parking Zones” during events like concerts at Canalside or the Dyngus Day Parade, it’ll cost you 25 cents. Bikeshare members are notified of these events through the SoBi app, so we recommend downloading and using it to your full advantage.
If you lock it up at a bike rack in the city, it costs $2.00 for someone to fetch the bike and bring it back to a station.
The SoBi app allows you to reserve a bike if you need to and it also has a bunch of cool GPS-powered features like being able to find the nearest bike to you and being able to track your time and distance through the city in real time.
Reddy Bikeshare spokesperson Jennifer White told me that the organization will be tracking the usage patterns of its members and applying that data for future roll outs and upgrades of the system.
“We’re excited to see how people will be using the bikes,” she added.
For more details on the new Reddy Bike Program head to reddybikeshare.socialbicycles.com and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Plus find a map of bike racks here. Don’t worry, the map will tell you everything you need to know in terms of where bikes are actually available – no hit or miss racks here!
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