Is there a B-cycle station in your neighborhood’s future?

The B-cycle program in Kansas City wants to expand south toward the Plaza. This map shows the zones where it is currently seeking funds for added bike rental stations.

B-cycles – those white bikes you can rent downtown for short trips around town – are coming to Midtown. The campaign to raise money to expand the B-cycle system has begun, with initial fundraising aimed at corporate sponsors who might be willing to champion a rental station in their area.

B-cycle’s Sarah Shipley says areas like the Plaza and Westport have been popular with residents and tourists renting the bikes downtown. Since the rentals began during the All-Star game in 2012, 9,600 bike rides have been taken for 29,000 miles.

“The 12 stations downtown have allowed us to see what works and what doesn’t work,” she said. “We know now that its perfectly viable” to create a larger system of bike rental stations serving the entire community.

So B-cycle has started a push to expand the system from downtown to the Plaza, including adding stations in Midtown, Westport, the Old Northeast, the Jazz district, the Westside, Country Club Plaza, UMKC, and Rockhurst.

Each station costs $50,000, so B-cycle is hoping to find businesses that will sponsor each one, or partner with other businesses to share the cost.

Eventually, the group hopes to have 36 stations with more than 200 B-cycles available in 13 zones across the city.

Midtown zones slated for expansion include the following:

  • Armour Boulevard zone: B-cycle’s fundraising materials point out that the area features revitalized historic apartment buildings that house students, faculty and young professionals, and the area joins the major activity centers on Broadway and Main Streets and the mass transit on those streets. B-cycle wants to locate four bike share stations along Armour.
  • KU Medical Zone: This zone includes both the shopping district and the residential neighborhoods around it. The B-cycle group believes the area can support four stations.
  • Westport Zone: B-cycle says the Westport zone will serve one of the busiest neighborhoods in the city, including the popular bars and restaurants as well as historic surrounding neighborhoods. B-cycle hopes to find funding for at least five bike share stations in Westport.
  • The Museum zone: This area includes major institutions including the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Kemper Museum, the Kansas City Art Institute, the Kauffman Foundation and the Discovery Center. It also links the Plaza to the University Zone. B-cycle wants to locate four bike share stations in this area.
  • Plaza zone: B-cycle notes the Plaza is a major shopping, dining and employment area and a dense residential area. It hopes to locate five bike sharing stations in the Plaza.
  • South Plaza zone: This zone would serve the dining and retail area of 51st and Main as well as the Plaza Library. The plan is to locate two stations there.
  • University zone: This zone would serve UMKC and Rockhurst students as well as future developments on Oak and Troost.

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