Pace yourselves: The bikes are back in town

In March, Downtown Norfolk Council sponsored the creation of "Pace," Downtown Norfolk's bike-share program. Bike's are available for rent throughout the city (Southside Daily photo/Courtesy of Downtown Norfolk Council)
Pace Bikes are back for the Spring Season(Southside Daily photo/Courtesy of Downtown Norfolk Council)

NORFOLK — The bike sharing platform, Pace, has returned to downtown for the spring season, which starts this Friday.

This will be the second year Pace has worked with the city and after a successful first run they’ve come back with a few changes and updates to the program, said Keli Hoyt-Rupert, director of marketing management for Pace.

Pace plans on launching 200 bikes and 35 docking stations in the city which is an increase from last year’s 150 bikes, she said.

The bikes’ release will be staggered though, with 150-160 of the bikes and 30 docking stations launching this Friday and the full 200 bikes and 35 docking stations being available starting April 1.

Based on customer feedback from last year, Pace implemented a few changes when it came to paying for the bikes.

Hoyt-Rupert said the pay as you go feature will be $1 per 15 minutes, a change from last year’s $1 per 30 minutes.

She said the average ride per user was about 14 minutes so to maximize efficiency in pricing they went with the new rate of $1/15 minutes.

Pace also added an annual membership which will cost users $60 a year for unlimited 30-minute rides.

Students, seniors and military will get a discounted $30 year membership.

The monthly membership fee was lowered to only $10 a month for unlimited 30-minute rides with a discounted $5 a month for the above parties, she said.

A new feature this year is the off-station locking fee which allows riders to leave their bikes where they choose for an extra $2 instead of finding a docking station.

Hoyt-Rupert said that change was made to give riders better at-station availability.

Last year Pace riders logged 45,952 trips in Norfolk with 11,658 users, she said.

According to Pace’s Norfolk 2018 impact study, Pace riders rode for 138,385 miles and the use of the bikes helped reduce 32,572 pounds of CO2 emissions.

To kick off their second year of riding with Norfolk, Pace will be hosting a 2019 Spring Launch on Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., leaving from 500 East Main St.

The event is free, click here to register.

To find a Pace bike, users must download the Pace app and check out the map.

Click here for Itunes and here for Google Play.

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