The bicycle-sharing stations around Upper Arlington have been well-received, according to city officials, and will remain an alternative transportation option for residents and those who visit the city in 2020.
In late 2018, the installation of five CoGo bike-sharing stations began in Upper Arlington and culminated with a ceremony to open the final 15-bike station in front of La Chatelaine French Bakery & Bistro, 1550 W. Lane Ave., on May 16, 2019.
The city's other stations are at:
* Kingsdale Center, at the northwest corner of Zollinger Road and Northwest Boulevard, near the shared-use path.
* Tremont Center, along Tremont Road near the Chef-O-Nette restaurant, 2900 Tremont Center.
* The Mallway, in front of the Upper Arlington Fire Station 71, 2095 Arlington Ave.
* Near the northwest corner of North Star Road and Northwest Boulevard.
The stations came after the city invested $55,000 -- $11,000 per station -- for installation and with the assistance of a $1 million grant from the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission that provided funds for Upper Arlington, Columbus, Bexley and Grandview Heights to install a total of 26 stations.
That move expanded the stations into the suburbs, after Columbus already had 26 stations.
According to the Upper Arlington Community Development Division, 195 rides were generated from Upper Arlington stations from October through the end of 2019.
That followed a third quarter -- July through September -- of 577 trips.
Chad Gibson, Upper Arlington community development director, said statistics related to ridership during the first two quarters of 2019 would have to be provided by Lyft, which operates CoGo's system.
Chet Ridenour, a Columbus-area Lyft representative, did not respond to an email seeking the information as of ThisWeek Upper Arlington News' press time.
"UA's five CoGo bike-sharing stations were installed late in 2018, providing an exciting new way for residents to enjoy the great outdoors and explore our community and beyond," City Manager Steve Schoeny said.
Schoeny said the Mallway, Tremont Center and Lane Avenue stations are the most popular pick-up and drop-off locations.
Gibson said the stations have continued to be added throughout Columbus and as of Dec. 31, 2019, a total of 79 were in central Ohio.
Although there are no plans to add to Upper Arlington's stock of stations, Gibson said the total number of stations in central Ohio is expected to increase.
"Several stations have since been added at Easton," he said. "By April, there should be a network of 88 stations."
The CoGo system allows riders to rent bikes for short trips, unlocking them with a credit card. Individual riders can purchase a 30-minute trip for $2, a 24-hour ride pass for $8, a three-day pass for $18 or an annual membership for $75.
"Ridership was solid for a new program in its first year," Gibson said. "As expected, numbers during the second and third quarters of 2019 were higher due to weather.
"The 577 rides in the third quarter were a positive sign that usage is growing."
Gibson said he and other city officials support the bike-sharing system because it provides alternative transportation for residents and allows visitors to ride through the city.
It also promotes exercise, he said.
"The bike-share system is not a revenue-generating operation for the city," Gibson said. "It is both a recreation and transportation service provided to the residents.
"The bike-share program meets multiple (city) master-plan objectives in the areas of transportation, recreation and public health. It provides a convenient way for residents or visitors to our community to access an alternate form of transportation without the need for purchasing a bicycle."
Gibson said the CoGo stations also have helped the city promote events and circulate information about public meetings and other issues of local interest through the stations.
"The five station kiosks provide the city with additional messaging opportunities to share information about important community issues," he said. "This messaging advances (Upper Arlington) City Council's goal for enhanced outreach."
Although there are no plans to add bike stations in Upper Arlington, Gibson said Fancyburg and Thompson park could be future locations for stations.
If Lyft proposes adding stations, however, residents and business owners would be afforded opportunities to weigh in on their locations through public input initiatives, Gibson said.