BICI (a shortened version of bicicleta, the Spanish word for bicycle and pronounced “bee-see”), is Albuquerque’s downtown pilot bike share. BICI bikes are available for short-term rental at various locations downtown.
Bike share is a transit system that consists of a network of stations where bikes are publicly available for short-term rental through several different fare options. Bike share trips are typically short distances and a brief amount of time.
Bike share also complements existing public transit, providing the first and last mile of connectivity by filling in gaps where no other mode exists. Bike share is a healthy, sustainable, and affordable form of public transportation. Currently, BICI uses Zagster bikes for its bike share program.
Membership in the Albuquerque bike share is open to anyone 18 years of age or older. Eligible participants must have a valid credit or debit card to become a member. Once a rider has set up his or her account via the smart phone application or online, renting a bike is as easy as four simple steps:
Find the bike you want to borrow at one of our 15 downtown station locations. Enter the bike number into the app on your mobile device. Tap "Start Ride" and you'll get a code to open and close the lockbox.
No smart phone? No problem! Text the word “Start” and the bike’s number to 202-999-3924. Zagster will text you back a lockbox code and instructions on how to use it. For example, text “Start 100” to rent bike 100. The bike’s number can be found on labels near the handlebars and on the lockbox.
Use the key from inside the lockbox to operate the U-Lock that attaches the bike to its station. Close the lockbox before you ride.
Have fun and stay safe! Use the U-lock to keep the bike secure if you make stops along the way. Your lockbox code will continue to work during your ride.
When you’re done, lock the bike back to a BICI Bike Share Zagster Station and close the lockbox. Then go to the app and tap “End Ride.” If you’re not using a smart phone, at the end of your ride text 202-999-3924 “End” to end your rental.
For additional support, please call the 24/7 help line, 202-999-3924.
Albuquerque’s downtown pilot bike share, BICI (a shortened version of bicicleta, the Spanish word for bicycle and pronounced “bee-see”) launched on National Bike to Work Day- May 15, 2015, with 15 stations and 75 bicycles. Through a creative partnership between the DowntownABQ MainStreet Initiative and the Mid-Region Council of Governments (MRCOG), and through public-private funding, Albuquerque was able to realize the first phase of BICI for residents and visitors. Since its launch, BICI has been an overwhelming success! This success is due in large part to community support - especially through local private businesses. Without the private business support on this great project, there would be no bike share. Importantly, because of this public private partnership downtown Albuquerque was able to demonstrate the need for this type of amenity not only in downtown, but other neighborhoods of the city.
BICI planners reviewed and analyzed the first year of data from the pilot program. This infographic is a summary of the first year of BICI data. According to a 2014 MRCOG travel survey, 32% of all bicycles trips in the Albuquerque Metropolitan Planning Area (AMPA) are made by women. Yet interestingly, 54% of BICI users from the AMPA are women! BICI planners are interested in exploring this further with the expansion plans of BICI.
The Executive Board of the Rio Metro Regional Transit District (RMRTD) unanimously approved adding the bike share under their management and growing the program beyond downtown Albuquerque. RMRTD secured a federal grant to purchase the capital (bicycles/stations) and to help the program grow. These funds will be available starting October 1, 2016. Federal funds require that RMRTD release a request for proposals (RFP) to identify the bike share vendor to grow the program. In the meantime, because bike share has become such a community amenity, RMRTD will continue the existing program until the RFP and expansion plans are finalized.
While we’re thrilled to receive federal funds, it will not cover the cost of the entire system, so the expansion will build on the public private partnership model, which made the pilot program successful. The federal funds can only be used for capital and sponsorship funding will be used to help cover operations and maintenance costs.