McAllen is leading the way when it comes to innovative transportation in South Texas, joining the ranks of Austin, Houston, Fort Worth and San Antonio as Texas cities with the B-Cycle bike share system.
There are eight stations and 80 bikes throughout the city, making it easy to navigate the streets using the most eco-friendly form of energy, your legs!
I used Bublr bikes when I was in Milwaukee, Wisconsin because I knew
McAllen was going adopt a similar system, and I wanted to try it out for myself. I’m not an avid cyclist so I had some questions before taking to the streets in two-wheeled fashion. Maybe you have the same questions I did.
How do I pay?
Each station has a kiosk where you pay with a credit card. You can pay by the hour, by the day or get a monthly pass. I guess it depends on how you’re going to use it. Recreational users will probably want to go by the hour while daily commuters might want to invest in the monthly pass.
Do I need to use my own bike lock?
If you decide to make a pit stop before making it to another docking station, the bikes come equipped with a lock and key in the front basket. It’s pretty easy to figure out once you get your hands on one.
What are the traffic rules?
When I asked this question to one of the locals, they answered simply, “It’s basically the same rules as a car”. This means don’t ride on the sidewalks and please use turn signals. No, they don’t have blinkers so you’re going to have to dig deep into that mental rolodex of yours and find the file where you were taught these rules in elementary.
What’s to keep people from stealing them?
Each one of the bikes has a built-in GPS monitor, making tracking these fancy blue bikes easy, and remember, you used a credit card to rent it so all your information is on file.
What if the bike I use has a problem?
One of the bikes I hopped on was having trouble shifting gears. I was still able to get to another docking station, but it made going uphill tough without third gear. After docking the bike, I called the number listed at the kiosk, letting them know it needed maintenance. Without hesitation, they credited my account for that ride and thanked me for reporting the problem.
Going forward, the city plans to see how well the bike share system goes, and if the public is using them they will add eight more stations. I encourage everyone to go for a spin on one. Not only is it fun, it’s healthy, and promoting an active lifestyle while giving the city a reason to add more stations should be motivation enough.
McAllen B-Cycle Locations:
Broadway Park & Ride (near City Hall)
McAllen Heritage Center
Hike & Bike Trail
McAllen Convention Center
For more info Click Here or download the app on Google Play or the App Store
Watch a B-Cycle video tutorial HERE.