CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. — The CDPHP Cycle! program has racked up more than 20,000 rides so far this year as biking becomes a popular socially distant activity during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) and CDPHP recently announced that the program is on pace to reach 35,000 rides before the end of the season in November, in addition to boasting more than 17,000 all-time members.
The program saw its highest-ever week of ridership in late August with nearly 3,000 trips on the strength of new Cycle! Access partners, including the University at Albany, Tru by Hilton Albany Airport hotel, and The Desmond hotel.
The onset of COVID-19 delayed this year’s launch of CDPHP Cycle!, but with enhanced safety and sanitary precautions, and an increased demand for outdoor activities, CDTA and CDPHP eased into the 2020 season.
Bikes first launched in areas near parks and trails for recreational riding and are spaced out at racks to allow for easy access and proper social distancing.
Cleaning and disinfecting measures are ongoing, and each bike is equipped with hand sanitizer for riders to use before and after riding.
CDPHP Cycle! continues to recommend that riders follow guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization to prevent the spread of disease.
“CDPHP Cycle! has been a much-needed activity for the community,” CDTA CEO Carm Basile said in a press release. “Our team has redesigned the operations plan, complete with a rigorous cleaning and disinfecting process and methods to reassure customers they are safe and secure when using our bikes. With these updates, the public has and continues to safely enjoy this service and bike throughout the Capital Region.”
CDPHP President and CEO Dr. John D. Bennett added, “I’m thrilled that CDPHP Cycle! has been a physical and mental health outlet during these difficult times. I continue to encourage everyone to give some thought to driving trips you can replace with cycling instead. Your heart – and your mind – will thank you!”
Riders may purchase a membership or load a pay-as-you-go account by registering online or downloading the CDPHP Cycle! mobile app. Users pay for what they cycle, which comes out to just eight cents per minute with an hourly pass.
A group of riders recently explored the murals in downtown Albany as part of the second annual Capital Walls: Mural Bike Tours. The three-hour guided tour included a free helmet, stickers, local food-to-go and more. A second tour will be held at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 11 at 11 a.m. following the same format. More information can be found online at albanycentergallery.org.
In early October, the CDPHP Cycle! fleet of 340 bikes will get a boost with the addition of a new bicycle model. These new bikes are more durable and provide better connectivity to system software. The addition of these newer models will grow the total number of bikes to nearly 500 for next season, giving members even more riding options.
The CDPHP Cycle! season is scheduled to continue through Nov. 30, 2020. It is expected to resume on on April 1, 2021.
More information about CDPHP Cycle!, including a map of rack locations is available online at www.cdphpcycle.com.