Red Bike returns with free rides for frontline workers, new fleet of e-bikes

Mayor Cranley, city officials announce return of Red Bike
Updated: May. 28, 2020 at 3:25 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - City leaders announced the return of Cincy Red Bike Thursday almost two months after the bike-share program was shut down as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus.

Mayor John Cranley says he and Health Commissioner Melba Moore officially lifted restrictions on the program Thursday afternoon.

The program will resume immediately, with red bikes ready for use Thursday.

Cranley says he was initially concerned about the high-touch nature of public bike shares, but then was persuaded by CDC guidance issued last week suggesting the virus is less likely to be transmitted on surfaces than in closed, indoor environments with poor ventilation.

“That doesn’t mean it’s not a risk, but it’s significantly less of a risk than we thought it was when we put this restriction in place,” he said.

According to Red Bike Director Jason Barron, Red Bike submitted a plan to the Cincinnati Health Department detailing a reopening plan that prioritizes health and safety.

That plan includes using a physical coating on bikes and kiosks that destroys viruses and bacteria and lasts for several months. Also, every bike and station will be cleaned and disninfected every time it is serviced by the Red bike team.

“Nothing is more important than the health and safety of the community. In many ways, Red Bike exists as a public health initiative to encourage people to use active transportation and live healthier lives,” Barron said.

“We’ve all been cooped up. We are excited to reopen Red Bike and help people get outside and get some much-needed exercise and stress relief with a good long bike ride in the sun.”

Red Bike returns with a few pandemic-related provisions.

The Bike It Forward initiative will offer free monthly Red Bike memberships to first responders and frontline healthcare workers at local hospitals.

Red Bike is also providing free advertising on Red Bikes and Red Bike kiosks to local restaurants impacted by the pandemic.

Additionally, the program now has 100 new e-bikes thanks to a federal grant. The e-bikes arrived Monday, Barron says, and will be rolled out in the coming months.

For more information, read Red Bike’s full reopening announcement.

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