If you assumed that with the overwhelming success of the T-Pot bridge, that the rollout of the RVA Bike Share would have included Manchester, you assumed wrong.
If you haven’t noticed all the new shared RVA Bike Share bicycles around town, you must not have gone outside in the last two weeks. The RVA Bikes are virtually everywhere. And at first glance, the program seems to have been received well by folks throughout the city.
But it does beg the question, why was Manchester excluded? In fact, all of South Richmond was excluded. That makes no sense given the sheer number of people who want to explore the river and the T-Pot Bridge. The good news is that the city is planning to expand the program. According to the City of Richmond’s website:
- First deployment will be 220 bikes and 17 stations, focusing on downtown and nearby areas
- Each docking station will have 16 to 22 bicycles
- Second 220 deployment electric pedal assist bikes and double system to size to 440+ bikes and 40+ stations
The Richmond Times-Dispatch article on the bike share program with an interview of Jakob Helmbodt, Pedestrian, Bicycle and Trails Coordinator for the City of Richmond, seemed to hint that the bikes might be coming to Manchester:
“Helmboldt said the plan is to install four more stations by the end of the year and then double the number of stations to 40 by this time next year. That expansion, already funded with $1.9 million in federal congestion mitigation funding, will also include about 200 additional bikes, all of which will have an electric motor to make it easier to pedal uphill.
He said the city will look to expand the system farther into the Fan and Museum District to the west; Church Hill to the east; and Manchester to the south. He said high-density areas with a mix of commercial and residential use will be the focus.”
If true, this should be good news for those who live in Manchester who want to use the bikes to get downtown and drop them off. For business owners in Manchester who want to see folks from the other side of the river gain access to Manchester, this should also be a boon to business.
For now though, we wait.