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NEW ORLEANS, June 12, 2018 ––Bike Easy, the regional non-profit biking and walking advocacy organization, in collaboration with Blue Bikes, New Orleans’ new bike share program, received a $55,000 grant through the Better Bike Share Partnership’s Challenge Grants. This national program supports equity and awareness within bike share systems.

Blue Bikes, launched in December 2017, is New Orleans’ first bike share program, made possible through a partnership with the City of New Orleans, JUMP Bicycles and title sponsor, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana.

The Better Bike Share Partnership grant will fund a “Blue Bikes for All” campaign to introduce the bike-share program to residents who most need accessible transportation and may qualify for the Reduced Fare memberships, based on income. Outreach will primarily focus on residents of the Seventh Ward and Central City neighborhoods, as well as employees in New Orleans’ hospitality industry.

"Blue Bikes and Bike Easy are a strong addition to the Better Bike Share Partnership," said Zoe Kircos, Director at PeopleForBikes and administrator of the Challenge Grant program. "The Blue Bikes for All program focuses on reaching people who work in the hospitality industry, which was a compelling part of their proposal."

The Reduced Fare plan costs $20 a year. Anyone who meets income requirements for the state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or Louisiana Purchase) qualifies for this rate, which comes with one hour of ride time per day.

To make Blue Bikes even more convenient and inexpensive for all riders, the organization recently stopped out-of-hub locking fees, meaning riders can take their bikes directly to work, rather than parking at a Blue Bikes station.

Bike Easy will promote Blue Bikes Reduced Fare membership opportunities through direct outreach to hospitality industry businesses and unions, as well as through community rides, which will encourage biking as a healthy and environmentally friendly transportation option and teach riders about the rules of the road.

“We’re very excited about this opportunity to expand Blue Bikes’ ridership to people who really need it,” said Bike Easy Campaign Organizer Robert Henig Bell. “We want every New Orleans resident to be able to take advantage of this healthy, affordable way to get to and from work.” 

To sign up for a Reduced Fare, Monthly or Pay-As-You-Go Blue Bikes membership, visit bluebikesnola.com.

For more information on organizing a community ride for your business, neighborhood or non-profit organization, email Robert Henig Bell at rob@bikeeasy.org.

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About the Better Bike Share Partnership
The Better Bike Share Partnership is a collaboration funded by The JPB Foundation to build equitable and replicable bike share systems. The partners include The City of Philadelphia, Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) and the PeopleForBikes Foundation.

About Bike Easy
Bike Easy aims to make biking easy, safe, and fun for everyone in Greater New Orleans. We believe in the power of biking to help create a healthy, prosperous, resilient, and equitable future for all people of the region. We envision safe, convenient transportation options for everyone and the freedom to get around easily. We know streets that are safe for biking are safe for walking and vice versa. We imagine a future where people of all ages and abilities can bike, walk, and take transit safely, whoever they are and wherever they live. Biking has deep roots in New Orleans’ history and we aim to bring the joy of biking to future generations by making it an easy choice for everyone.

About Blue Bikes
Blue Bikes is a fast, convenient and affordable transportation system for residents and visitors to move around New Orleans. The bike share program is a partnership among the City of New Orleans, Social Bicycles and title sponsor Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana. Sign up to ride at bluebikesnola.com.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Founded in New Orleans in 1934, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is a tax-paying nonprofit health insurer. We are a private mutual company, owned by our policyholders, with an independent Louisiana Board of Directors and no shareholders. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is committed to our mission to improve the health and lives of Louisianans. Headquartered in Baton Rouge, we have eight regional offices to serve our customers around the state. We invite all Louisianans to visit our website at www.bcbsla.com or talk to us on social media.