Many people choose bicycles as their form of transportation in New Orleans. Bicycling through New Orleans is popular for both residents and tourists. Riding a bike is a great form of exercise, inexpensive transportation, and for that reason, the City of New Orleans is launching a new bike share program in cooperation with Social Bicycles, Inc. The program is scheduled to begin in Fall 2017.

What is a Bike Share Program?

Many cities have started using bike share programs to encourage alternate forms of transportation for residents and tourists. Bicycle stations are located throughout the city for people to borrow bicycles for short-term use. You return the bicycle to the station or another station when you are finished riding.  Social Bicycles has produced a short video explaining how social biking works.

The bicycles that will be used in New Orleans bike-sharing program have an 8-speed internal hub, are chainless, and have both front and rear lights that come on when the bicycle is unlocked. The initial phase of the NoLA bicycle sharing program calls for 70 stations and 700 bicycles; however, future expansion has a minimum of 90 hubs and 900 bicycles.

According to the city’s website, the benefits of a bike sharing program for New Orleans include:

  • Low-cost form of transportation for everyone
  • Makes bicycling more convenient
  • Provides parking relief
  • Works well with our transit system
  • Supports our local economy
  • Promotes health and well-being
  • Provides a safe and fun experience for residents and tourists

What is the Cost for New Orleans Bicycle Sharing?

At this time, the projected cost is $8 per hour for a pay-as-you-go rider. However, you can purchase a monthly pass that allows you to ride up to an hour a day for $15 a month. The hour can be broken into as many trips as you desire and any additional riding time over an hour is charged at the normal hourly rate. There will also be a low-income pass so that everyone can enjoy the city’s new bicycle sharing problem. New packages are expected to be available in the future.

Impact on Motorists

The impact on motorists of a bicycle sharing program should be minimal as motorists already see riders each day. However, motorists should expect to see a higher number of cyclists sharing the road.  Therefore, motorists need to use extra caution and pay closer attention to avoid a bicycle accident. This includes when opening car doors. “Dooring” is the term used to describe a bicycle accident caused by a vehicle occupant opening a door into the path of a bicyclist.

Motorists should be aware that if they cause an accident, they will be responsible for damages arising from the crash. Bicyclists must obey the same traffic rules as motorists, therefore, the same rules protect them. If a motorist causes a collision, the motorist can be sued for medical costs, lost wages, property damage, physical pain, and emotional suffering.

New Orleans Personal Injury Attorneys

Attorney Fred Olinde of The Olinde Firm and his colleagues represent victims of bicycling accidents throughout New Orleans and the surrounding areas. You can contact our office by calling (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889 to request a free consultation with a New Orleans accident attorney.