Reddy Bikeshare and Independent Health officials announced ridership results from the program’s 5th season, in which more people signed up to ride in 2020 than in the previous four seasons combined. Indicating significant growth in the popularity of biking in Western New York, sign-ups to the program increased by 222% from 2019 to 2020.
“We are proud to have supported the Buffalo-Niagara community when it needed bikes the most,’’ said Jennifer White, co-founder and communications director, Reddy Bikeshare. “The record-breaking growth signifies a shift towards a healthier, more active, and more accessible region.”
Other milestones from last season include:
- An 81% increase in miles traveled year-over-year
- A 300% increase in short term riders, year-over-year
- A 61% increase in all annual members, year-over-year
- 11 new Buffalo stations, 40 additional Reddy bikes
- Including two along the Buffalo Metro Rail (Reddy bikes can now be accessed at 11 out of 13 total NFTA-Metro Rail Stations)
- A successful first full season serving the City of Niagara Falls, an expansion that doubled the network footprint
- 1,120 $1 annual passes were redeemed as part of relief efforts to help community residents and essential workers
The majority of essential workers who signed up for Reddy indicated that they worked in the medical or healthcare industry and in food service or delivery of essential needs.
“The success of Reddy Bikeshare is profound, and the positive impact it has had on supporting essential workers and expanding access to better serve diverse communities, particularly on the east and west sides of Buffalo and in the city of Niagara Falls, is inspiring,” said Michael W. Cropp, M.D., president and CEO, Independent Health. “Our bikeshare program is an important part of our overall efforts to create opportunities for all Western New Yorkers to have a fair and equal chance to lead the healthiest lifestyle possible. We’re proud to work in tandem with Reddy Bikeshare to enable even more residents to take advantage of all the health benefits and convenience cycling has to offer.”
In Niagara Falls, Reddy Bikeshare also continued to work with the Office of Mayor Restaino as well as the Create a Healthier Niagara Falls Collaborative to find ways to introduce and spread awareness of the program to city residents, amidst the pandemic.
“As an avid biker myself, I’m proud to see the residents of Niagara Falls benefitting from and taking advantage of the opportunity that Reddy Bikeshare offers,” said City of Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino. “We’re looking forward to warmer weather and another successful year where residents and visitors alike can enjoy the transportation option that Reddy offers within the City.”
According to 2020 Reddy Bikeshare survey results, 71% of respondents indicated they were first-time riders in 2020. 56% of survey respondents indicated that they do not own their own bicycle, and 20% said they do not own a vehicle. White says that with 30% of Buffalo households and 20% of Niagara Falls households without access to an automobile, Reddy bikes help fill a gap in transportation.
Testimonial from a multi-modal rider:
“I was so appreciative to have the option of using a bike and lowering the pressure on the city buses during this pandemic. Without the bikes, things would have been a lot more difficult. It’s a long walk with heavy groceries. It’s nice to get exercise while running errands, too. Using Reddy Bikes made a stressful time more manageable.” – Sarah Bradley, transit rider and Reddy Bikeshare annual member.
Reddy Bikeshare is currently making updates and improvements to the service and plans to relaunch for their 6th season this April, bringing back 400 bikes in 90 stations in the cities of Buffalo and Niagara Falls. This year, the group also intends to help support new and short-term riders grow into more frequent riders by sharing more biking resources. White says, “We want to build on this momentum and look forward to making bikes more accessible to more communities in 2021.”