Guest Column by Abby Kingsley
As someone who grew up riding bikes and commutes to Buckhead every day for my summer internship, I was intrigued to hear that Relay BikeShare was starting a program in Buckhead. I loved how the program provides a quick, convenient, and eco-friendly alternative to driving. My personal commute consists of taking MARTA and walking to work. And now, by simply downloading an app, I am able to hop on a bike and go wherever I please without sacrificing my routine.
Livable Buckhead (LBI) recently worked with the company Cyclehop to bring Atlanta’s Relay BikeShare program to Buckhead. Through this initiative, LBI hopes to encourage the use of bicycles as a regular mode of transportation. The program utilizes a streamlined app and a straightforward keypad making it easy to access any bike in the area.
Once a bike is located, it is a simple process to unlock the bike and start exploring. Most of the bikes can be found at a centrally located “hub” which is a bike station specifically for the Relay BikeShare program. In Buckhead the hubs can be found at Tower Place Park, Piedmont 14 and the Lenox MARTA station. You won’t miss these bikes… since they are a bold blue, making them easy to spot in traffic or to locate when they are locked outside of the hubs. With eight gears but no cumbersome chain, anyone can enjoy a hassle-free ride. But this program is not just perfect for me, it is also great for busy individuals, touring families, and anyone looking for more or different options in an increasingly bike-friendly Atlanta.
One notable aspect of this program is the ability to lock a bike to any sturdy surface in town and leave it for the next community member. Instead of having to return the bike to a hub, the rider can lock the bike a variety of stable objects like a park bench or a stop sign. This is convenient and increases the riders mobility by not tethering them to the hub locations. Once the bike is locked, the app sends out a notification of the dollar amount charged to the user’s credit card. The bike also features a solar powered keypad and screen showing details such as duration, mileage, and cost of the ride. By providing a gas-free and solar-powered transportation option, Relay BikeShare’s bikes showcase sustainability.
From my perspective, overall, I see the Relay BikeShare program changing transportation in the Buckhead for the better. The introduction of the Relay BikeShare program in Buckhead signals to me a milestone for sustainable transportation and makes me hopeful for what else is to come.
Abby is the summer intern for Livable Buckhead. She attends Texas Christian University and studies economics and political science.