Are you riding? Louisville's new bike sharing program picking up speed

Are you riding? Louisville's new bike sharing program picking up speed

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The bright green bikes are hard to miss around downtown Louisville. It's been almost two months since Louisville's bike sharing program, LouVelo, rolled into town.

"Lou" is short for Louisville and "velo" is French for bike. In the nearly two months the LouVelo bikes have been around town, close to 800 people have used them. For tourists, and people who work downtown and don't want to give up that coveted parking spot, it's easy to hop on a bike and go.

If you want to ride one of the 305 LouVelo bikes, there are 27 bike stations you can visit.

"They are all through downtown, Nulu, and Butchertown," LouVelo General Manager Matthew Glaser said.  "A lot of people who use bike shares haven't been on a bike in 10 years. This is made for that type of thing."

On average, LouVelo said there are about 80 riders every day. The sharing company recorded a huge jump during Forecastle when 150 people took them out for a spin each day.  LouVelo also got some love when the lead singer of the band Weezer got on stage with one.

The way it works is easy but you do need a credit card.

"Go to the LouVelo website or the transit app," Glaser said. "You can buy a monthly pass which is $15 for unlimited 60 minutes or a yearly pass which is $120 for unlimited 60 minutes."

If you don't want to commit, no problem. There is a pay as you go option which is $3.50 for 30 minutes.

"It's great transportation to get around without using gas and stuff like that," Louisville resident Eddie Fightmaster said.

"A great thing is that people are still doing it for activity and exercise, which is great," Glaser said. "But it's also the commuter. It's getting to work on bike or running errands on bikes. The more bikes we have on the street, the better traffic flows and the quicker you get to places."

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The LouVelo bike station at Witherspoon and Preston Street next to Louisville Slugger Field is the most popular. You do not have to return a bike to the same station where you originally rented one; you can return it to any of the 27 stations.

If you go over the time limit, the system automatically charges your credit card another $3.50 for every thirty minutes. Those who don't return the rented bike will get slapped with a $1200 penalty.

There are five LouVelo Red bikes, which are a tribute to Louisville's own Muhammad Ali. As a young boy, Ali's red bicycle was stolen and he wanted to learn to box to get that bike back.

For more information on LouVelo click here.

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