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What's This?

With Louisville’s bike share system launching in less than five days, crews have been hard at work distributing stations across the city. And the photos are starting to make their way out!

Bike share is a system of rentable bikes considered part of a city’s overall transportation network. It helps bridge gaps that are unwalkable but too short to drive. Or it helps locals and tourists see the city in new ways. It helps students make it from UofL to Central Park for a study break, and a West Main worker make it to lunch in Nulu. And it’s just a lot of fun.

The first station to be installed is at Spalding. (Courtesy Rolf Eisinger)
The first station to be installed is at Spalding. (Courtesy Rolf Eisinger)

Louisville’s system is called LouVelo. When it opens on May 15, it will contain 305 bikes distributed over 28 stations in its first phase. Stations are located on a major north-south axis extending from Downtown, SoBro, and Old Louisville. (This fall, 15 more stations are planned at the University of Louisville’s Belknap Campus.) More stations are located in Nulu and Butchertown, and at the Waterfront.

A bike share station on Garvin Place in Old Louisville. (Erin O'Neil)
A bike share station on Garvin Place in Old Louisville. (Erin O’Neil)

Future phases call for extending LouVelo’s footprint west into Portland and Russell and east into the Highlands. Mayor Greg Fischer was excited about the growth possibilities of bike share here at a late-April launch announcement. “We’re off to a good start with 300 [bikes],” he said. “There’s no reason why it can’t be 500 or a thousand, and then two thousand.”

First announced in 2014 and delayed multiple times, it’s exciting to see LouVelo hit the streets. And the colorful logo and color scheme lend the system a friendly and inviting tone. We couldn’t be more thrilled.

The first station was installed Monday at Spalding University’s Mother Catherine Spalding Square on Breckinridge Street. Now they’ve popped up all around town. Each station is a solar-powered standalone unit, simplifying the installation process. Once they’re assembled and loaded onto a truck, crews simply set them into place on the sidewalk or street.

Want to be among the first to ride LouVelo? There’s still time to become a founding member before Monday at a special annual rate of $99. Daily, monthly, and regular annual passes will also be available beginning at $3.50.

Want to know more about LouVelo? Check out our coverage of the launch announcement. Has a bike station been installed near your home or office? Share a photo with us at tips@brokensidewalk.com!

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Branden Klayko

Branden Klayko

Founder and Editor at Broken Sidewalk
Branden founded Broken Sidewalk in 2008 while practicing architecture in Louisville. He continued the site for seven years while living in New York City, returning to Louisville in 2016. Branden is a graduate of the College of Architecture at Washington University in St. Louis, and has covered architecture, design, and urbanism for The Architect's Newspaper, Designers & Books, Inhabitat, and the American Institute of Architects.
Branden Klayko

6 COMMENTS

  1. I noticed today the station at 4th & Jefferson has its solar panel directly under a tree. That seems…inefficient.

    I remember the Humana-only Bcycle station on the south side of Main Street outside PNC/National City had to be retrofitted for power because it was perpetually in the shade of the building. I wonder how many of these stations will be similarly affected.

  2. This is great news – finally! Can’t wait to read all the comments from the mouth breathers when the C-J finally publishes an article about this on their website.

  3. This is great news. The comparable Divvy program has been doing very well in Chicago, with over 3 million trips per year now. It’s awesome to see Louisville getting in on intermodal transit; I hope it’s well adopted.

  4. Is there any option for helmets with this service? If the bikes are to be used on the streets and not the sidewalks, which I’m assuming is the case, it seems a major hazard to not have considerations for safety. It may be good to have an app or something with rules for road sharing, as many cyclists in the city I’ve seen do not follow traffic laws.

  5. I can foresee lots of rusty and vandalized bikes in the future. I hate to be negative about this project but it’s not going to be successful in this city.

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