Students, faculty, and staff at McGovern Medical School looking for a new way to commute can now make good use of a new Houston BCycle bike share station near the corner of Fannin Street and Ross Sterling Street, along with others spread around the Texas Medical Center.
The bike share program is operated by Houston Bike Share, a non-profit organization, which operates 60 stations and over 400 bikes throughout central Houston, that can be checked out and subsequently docked at any other station “24 hours a day, 365 days a year.” The latest station at Fannin Street and Ross Sterling Street is one of five stations throughout the Texas Medical Center, with locations at the TMC Transit Center (6910 Fannin St.), TMC Garage 2 (1150 Bates), the TMC Commons, and Ben Taub Hospital.
Houston BCycle Members can take an unlimited number of short rides during their membership period, with the first 60 minutes of every trip free. Overage fees for rides that last longer than 60 minutes are $3 per 30 minutes. McGovern Medical School students and staff can get a BCycle Membership for just $25 per semester and $9-per-month memberships and $99 annual memberships also are available online. Walk-up users can register at the kiosk for $3 per 30 minutes with a credit or debit card.
Henry Morris, marketing and communications manager with Houston Bike Share, said the new stations reflect the desire of TMC’s leadership to shift the area way from a focus on cars to a great emphasis on pedestrian options.
“It’s a symbiotic relationship,” Morris said. “We are health and sustainability focused in a lot of the same ways that the medical institutions here are.”
Each bike is typically serviced once a month by technicians, who visit stations throughout the day to inspect the bikes and equipment. A phone number for customer service is on the side of each kiosk, and each bike is numbered to help identify issues.
“We’ve got a great base of riders that will report issues to us,” Morris said.
While feasibility issues prevent rentals of gear like helmets, the bikes come with safety features like reflective tire strips and a bell. There have been no major accidents or fatalities on BCycle bikes for the past 8 months or so, Morris said.
“We always recommend people follow the rules of cycling in Houston and make sure they’re safe when they travel about,” Morris said. “We hope we can continue to serve people by offering affordable, healthy transit.”
For more information and a station map, visit the Houston BCycle website here.