Despite reporting a deficit for 2016, the Denver B-cycle program will coast its way through 2017.Be on the look out for people pedaling, because Denver's B-cycle program isn't going anywhere – or at least we hope. The program's latest annual report, which was released last week, is showing that the program is attracting fewer users and is operating at a deficit. From 2015 to 2016, total trips have dropped by more than 8,000 and are down approximately 22,500 when compared to its peak (2014). But when Denver B-cycle Executive Director Nick Bohnenkamp was reached by Colorado Public Radio, he seemed optimistic and stated that the deficit was due to an investment in two new B-cycle stations at Denver's popular Union Station. The program is also looking to invest in new B-cycles, many of which are nearing 7-years-old and see a lot of use. Each B-cycle cost about $1,100. [gallery size="large" ids="11068,11072"] Yet, with a total of 755,4o9 miles ridden last year – just over 30 times around the world – and 47 percent of trips replacing cars, the program remains relevant. When compared to other cities, Denver's program is quite small. However, most of that is due to population density. To compare, Chicago and Seattle have a population density of approximately 12,000 people per square mile, where as Denver has about 3,000 people per square mile.
Plans to expand the program include a flex card program to reach the user who falls somewhere between a frequent user and somebody who is just here for the weekend. The program will also focus on high population density areas. Bohnenkamp also told CPR that, "We don't see it as a negative to run a deficit. We just can't run a deficit in too many years." What are your thoughts? Have you ever taken a ride on a Denver B-cycle? Let us know!