New partnership to attract Zyp bike riders in Birmingham

Rawls said bike lanes are coming to at least a portion of Center Street next year.

New partnership to attract Zyp bike riders

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Zyp Bikes are now a common site in Birmingham, especially around downtown, Railroad Park and UAB.

“I was a little disappointed because I thought I could just get on it and go but I wasn’t able to do that today,” said Sara Bracy.

Bracy admits she hasn’t been on a bike since the 70′s, but is excited about all the opportunity she’ll have to ride one soon.

Meanwhile, Donnie Whatley was right at home.

Man I could go to New York on this one," said Whatley. “You can go to any gear, brakes, they’re stout, you know what I’m saying, it rides good.”

What’s also good for Whatley is a new that allows him and 30 other public housing residents to get a one year membership for just $15.

Zyp Bike Executive Director Keith Rawls says the subsidized memberships, paid for by the Birmingham Housing Authority and city councilman Darrel O’Quinn, are intended to help people connect to public transit and ride for recreation.

He hopes they will increase rider ship around stations like this one at the Smithfield Library.

“The ridership here has been a little underwhelming and its due to, I believe two factors - one, awareness and education of what bike-sharing is and also the dedicated bicycle infrastructure needed to ride safely between the station here at Smithfield to Southtown and Memorial Park,” said Rawls.

In fact, Rawls said bike lanes are coming to at least a portion of Center Street next year, which will help Bracy who isn’t giving up.

“It’s going to be fun, I just got to get the feel of it, get used to it...and I’m willing to try,” said Bracy.

Bike lanes or not, Donnie Whatley and his new membership are on a roll.

“This a car right here,” said Whatley. “When I get ready to go do little jobs on the side, I get on my bike and ride over there.”

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