Houston BCycle rolls onto campus


A new transportation option on campus offers convenient access to bicycles — but without the responsibility of bike ownership.

Houston BCycle

(Photo by Richard Johnson)

Houston BCycle, a bike-share program, installed three stations — racks with ready-to-rent bikes — on campus last week. One is at the Gibbs Recreation Center, one is in the Greenbriar Parking Lot and one is in the West Lot near the Moody Center for the Arts and the Anderson-Clarke Center.

These stations are among almost 50 already in place throughout central Houston. (A map of all the Houston BCycle stations is available at houston.bcycle.com/station-map.) Through the Houston BCycle system, more than 350 bikes are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Five more stations are planned to be installed on campus.

Using Bcycle is easy: Press the “start” button on the B-station kiosk, select “guest” and follow the instructions on the touchscreen to purchase a 30-minute pass with a credit card. When prompted, enter the dock number of the bike you want to check out. The kiosk will unlock the bike, and the dock holding the bike will beep until the bike is removed.

Bikes can be returned to any BCycle station in the Houston system; they don’t have to be returned to the one from which they were checked out.

The bikes are equipped with a bell, a basket, a lock and front and rear lights, and the seat height can be adjusted. Riders do need to provide their own helmet.

Houston BCycle

The Houston BCycle station behind the Gibbs Recreation Center is one of three new stations on campus. (Photo by Richard Johnson)


The “guest” rate is $3 (plus tax) for 30 minutes. Memberships that give riders an unlimited number of 60-minute rentals can be purchased at Houston.bcycle.com. A monthly membership is $9; an annual membership is $99. Rice students and employees have an additional membership option for $25 per semester using their Rice email and the promo code RICEEDU.

An advisory committee of faculty, staff, undergraduates and graduate students identified the locations on campus for the B-stations. Lisa Lin, program manager for Rice’s Transportation Demand Management Department, said the first three locations were chosen for the ease of installation. “No concrete pad was needed, and because these three are solar-powered, no electrical connections were needed either,” she said.

This project was made possible in part by a grant from the Texas Department of Transportation.

Frequently asked questions about BCycle are posted at https://houston.bcycle.com/faqs.


About Jennifer Evans

Jennifer Evans is a senior editor in the Rice's Office of Public Affairs.