Here's How Many Red Bike Trips Have Been Taken in Northern Kentucky
It has been exactly a month since Red Bike launched in Covington, followed a week later by an opening in Newport and a few days after that in Bellevue.
So, how popular is the Cincinnati-based bike-sharing program in the Northern Kentucky River Cities? "All are performing quite well," said Jason Barron, executive director of Red Bike, adding that the early numbers are "really strong".
According to numbers released by Red Bike to The River City News, the most-used station so far is at Roebling Point in Covington with one of the two locations at Newport on the Levee close behind. Combined, the two stations make the Levee the most popular NKY destination. Roebling Point was the site of the celebrated launch where local leaders predicted that the program would be popular and that it would eventually expand even further in Northern Kentucky.
Overall there are eleven stations in Northern Kentucky, each costing roughly $50,000 to install. The three cities raised their own money in different ways to install the first bike-sharing program in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Red Bike is one of the few such programs to span more than one state.
In Covington, approximately $200,000 was donated to the city by a private individual and a private company towards the Red Bike effort. The city invested roughly $30,000 to cover the remainder of costs associated with its six stations. All three cities were given $20,000 by Southbank Partners to get started. Newport raised private money through various organizations and individuals, ultimately investing about $30,000 from its budget for its four stations. Bellevue raised private funds and also allocated about $50,000 from its Port Bellevue funds to cover what will eventually be two locations, though the issue was controversial for its city council. Bellevue's Port Bellevue station is open and a second one is on the way at Ward Avenue.
Red Bike stations feature a dozen or so bikes that users can rent for $8 for a 24-hour period, as long as the bike is checked in at a station every hour. (Non check-in rates run $28 per day.) Annual passes cost $80 (though the check-in rules still apply).
The numbers at Northern Kentucky stations:
#1 ROEBLING POINT Covington 500 rides
It's no surprise that this location outside popular cyclist hang-out Roebling Point Books & Coffee tops the list so far. Its location at 3rd & Greenup Streets also offers quick access to the Roebling Suspension Bridge for jaunts to the Cincinnati side of the Ohio River or the Veterans Memorial Bridge across the Licking River to get to Newport and Bellevue.
#2 NEWPORT ON THE LEVEE - EAST Newport 458 rides
During the run-up to the Red Bike launch in Northern Kentucky, it was widely anticipated that the Levee would be a top location for visitors from Cincinnati.
#3 EAST ROW HISTORIC DISTRICT Newport 324 rides
This station outside Water Tower Square is half a block from popular Pompilio's and Newberry Brothers, and a stone's throw from Katharina's German cafe.
#4 NEWPORT ON THE LEVEE - WEST Newport 277 rides
In total, there have been 765 rides at the Levee when this station is combined with its "east" counterpart.
#5 RIVERCENTER & NKY CONVENTION CENTER Covington 262 rides
This location benefits from being between the Marriott and Embassy Suites hotels, offering guests access to a quick way to get to Cincinnati or Mainstrasse Village.
#6 MAINSTRASSE VILLAGE Covington 259 rides
Right on Main Street near the Village's popular restaurants and bars, the station is also close to the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge for visitors who may wish to head to or from Cincinnati.
#7 PORT BELLEVUE Bellevue 186 rides
Being next to Joe's Crab Shack and Buckhead, and within immediate walking distance to Fairfield Avenue and Riverboat Row, this station will likely climb in popularity. It was the last station to come online in Northern Kentucky.
#8 DUVENECK SQUARE Covington 164 rides
For visitors in downtown Covington, this is the ideal station. It's in the middle of the Madison Avenue/Pike Street corridor, and is right next to the wildly popular Braxton Brewing Company.
#9 GATEWAY COLLEGE & LIBRARY Covington 130 rides
This station is outside the Gateway Community & Technical College Urban Center and the Kenton County Public Library. As Gateway's urban metro campus continues to be developed in downtown Covington, this station stands to grow in popularity if students opt to use it to jet around town between classes.
#10 MONMOUTH STREET Newport 123 rides
Downtown Newport is always hopping, so for those who might like to start their evenings at Packhouse Meats or Dixie Chili or Pepper Pod and then end it at the Levee, this is a good place to grab a bite and a bike.
#11 WEST 3RD & BAKEWELL Covington 60 rides
The slowest station out of the gate is the one located in Covington's fast food district. Likely placed in this spot because of its proximity to the Courtyard Inn, Holiday Inn, and Hampton Inn, it's also a good station to pick up a bike to head to Cincinnati via the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge or to continue on to Mainstrasse or Duveneck Square or beyond!
In total, there have been 2,743 rides in Northern Kentucky.
Written by Michael Monks, editor & publisher
Photo: Red Bike station at Roebling Point (RCN file)