Aurora’s bike share programs LimeBike and Ofo a hit with students riding to class

Home / Aurora’s bike share programs LimeBike and Ofo a hit with students riding to class

Gateway High School principal Dackri Davis has been so pleased with the rollout of Aurora’s bike-sharing programs, school leaders painted a spot in the parking lot for the dockless bikes to hang out during the day before students ride them home.

Davis has seen anywhere from five to 15 students a day pedaling their way to class since the program’s October launch, and she’s noticing more as the weather improves.

“It seems to be helping with students making it to class on time,” Davis said.

Aurora Public Schools doesn’t offer bus service if a house is within 3 miles of a school. Brenden Paradies, a planner with the city of Aurora who manages the dockless bike-share program, said the program hopes to help with that extra mile or so home and back again.

“Something surprising we’re seeing is how much our teenage and youth community are really utilizing this to get to school,” Paradies said. “It’s a been a benefit that we didn’t anticipate.”

Data from Aurora’s bike-share permit program is letting the city know how to plan for its future infrastructure.

Between two dockless bike-share companies — LimeBike and Ofo — Aurora bike-share riders from October through March have taken a total of 39,516 trips and traveled 26,525 miles. The program has more than 4,000 active users.

On top of getting busy Aurora residents from Point A to Point B, the program is also moving the city forward in its future designing and planning, Paradies said.

Ofo general manager Patrick Quintana works with the city of Aurora, sharing the company’s ridership data and community feedback to better inform the City Council and city management on their transportation decisions.

“We know and understand that every market is different,” Quintana said. “Dock-based bike-share models such as Denver’s BCycle are usually in the densest, most affluent regions in the city. That’s expensive to make its way out to Aurora. It’s important to serve the areas outside of the main area of density, and that’s something these dockless models can really help with and a way to provide transportation equity.”

Paths most often frequented by Ofo riders include to and from light-rail stations, along Westerly Creek Trail, Toll Gate Creek Trail and Campground Trail through Cherry Creek Spillway Trail.

“This has been really helpful in helping us understand gaps in our transportation network,” Paradies said. “We are seeing use on our recreation trails more, which is important for us to realize so we keep investing efforts and money to make sure those are good options for people.”

As an example, Paradies said because Westerly Creek Trail seems to be a hit among Ofo riders, the city might consider adding a protected bike lane in that area.

LimeBike said their Aurora cycles have cruised most frequently along East Colfax Avenue.

Neither organization provided numbers for how many cyclists rode along their most popular paths.

Tom Tobiassen, the president and founder of the Bicycle Aurora advocacy group, said the program seems to be steering in a positive direction.

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