Omaha B-Cycle offers free bike rentals

If you have ever wanted to try out Omaha's public bike sharing program, now's the time.

Alegent Creighton Health made it possible for Omaha B-Cycle to offer free access to anyone who wants to try out the system through Sept. 11, said Ben Turner, Omaha B-Cycle director.

He said that means you will not be charged the $6 you would normally pay for a 24-hour access pass. However, if you don't keep your trips under an hour, Turner said, you will have to pay usage fees.

B-Cycle opened its newest bike rental stations on Wednesday at 1819 Farnam St., 13th and Howard Streets and near the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge on the Omaha side.

Five stations in the Aksarben area, the pilot project in Omaha, have been popular. They are located at at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska at Aksarben Village; Aksarben Cinema; on Center Street, next to Wohlner's Grocery in Aksarben Village; the University of Nebraska at Omaha's Pacific Street campus; and the UNO Dodge Street campus.

B-Cycle is a national organization that provides bicycles and rental systems for several bike-share programs across the country.

Omaha B-Cycle was created in 2011 by the Community Bike Project and Live Well Omaha, with funding from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska and UNO student government. The recent downtown expansion was made possible by Alegent Creighton Health, Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail and the National Park Service.

People can rent a bicycle from one of eight stations in Omaha, ride the bike and return it to any station for a fee. It's designed for short commutes, but it can also be used for longer trips and recreational use.

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