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Blue Bikes Nola

You’ve probably seen them. The new Blue Bikes have popped up all around the city of New Orleans and have been available to rent since December 5th of last year. Sponsored by the health insurance company Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana, the pricing is relatively affordable and subsidized for low income residents. Standard rentals start at $8 per hour and a monthly subscription can be purchased for $15 per month, while the subsidized price is $20 per year. Considerably less expensive than public transit, as a 31-day RTA buss and streetcar pass can be purchased for $55. The new Blue Bikes provide a convenient and affordable alternative to the traditional forms of public transit in New Orleans. Over the past few years, New Orleans has become a much more bike friendly city which was awarded a silver rating in 2014 by the League of American Bicyclists. As of last year, the total miles of bike lanes both on and off the streets surpassed 100 total miles and the city continues its work to install bike racks around the city. However, the changes have not been welcomed by all residents. As all drivers know, cyclists often disregard the rules of the road and see themselves more like pedestrians than vehicles. Additionally, the blue bike racks have been called gaudy by other residents who have them on their street. Therefore, creating a bike safe New Orleans runs deeper than painting some lines on the road because it requires trust between both cyclists and motorists, a relationship which cannot be formed overnight. The Blue Bikes are a step in the right direction because they provide an alternative form of transportation to both residents and tourists which can help to reduce congestion on the roadways if operated properly and respectfully.

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