Citing national issues facing the bike-sharing industry, Red Bike plans to introduce a revised pricing structure beginning in 2024. However, the regional nonprofit vowed to not make any changes to its pricing plan for individuals considered low-income.
Douglas McClintock, Red Bike’s executive director, outlined the new pricing structure in a news release on Monday. Starting Jan. 1, Red Bike’s 2-hour passes will increase from $10 to $12 and the cost of monthly passes jumps from $18 to $30.
An annual pass will now cost $150, an increase of $50 over 2023. Current pass-holders can save $50 on next year’s annual membership if they renew before Dec. 31.
McClintock said the decision to adjust Red Bike’s pricing structure wasn’t made lightly. However, he called it necessary given “challenges” facing nonprofit operators like Red Bike and a changing mobility device landscape.
Bike-sharing organizations, like many forms of public transit, already operate at a financial loss – and those costs are only getting higher, McClintock added. Red Bike aims to transition to more sustainable and advanced e-bikes, which come with increased costs for things such as charging infrastructure and maintenance.
These are Red Bike’s first price increases in six years.
“These changes reflect our commitment to providing a convenient and green transit option, while also addressing the rising costs of doing business with electric bikes and the financial realities of operating the bike-sharing program in Cincinnati,” McClintock added.
McClintock emphasized that the Red Bike Go pass, designed for income-qualified individuals, will remain $5 a month moving forward. He called the program integral to the organization’s commitment to ensuring those in need have access to affordable transit options.
The Red Bike Go program is available to residents of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky with a household income at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines, and anyone who qualifies for food assistance or energy assistance programs.
Red Bike plans to continue to explore ways to enhance its services, such as expanding its network and supporting community initiatives aimed at promoting biking and sustainability.
In November, Red Bike added two new stations in Cincinnati’s Evanston neighborhood: The intersection of Montgomery Road and Woodburn Avenue, and Owl’s Nest Park. That expansion pushed the Red Bike network to 72 stations and 600 bicycles across the region.
Those interested in supporting Red Bike’s mission can donate to the organization on its website.
“We believe that these pricing adjustments are essential for Red Bike to remain a reliable and sustainable choice for mobility in the Cincy region,” McClintock said. “We are committed to providing a just and joyous transportation option to our community, and these changes will help us continue to deliver on that promise.”