This feature was first published in the February/March 2016 edition of TAMPA Magazine.
Program director Eric Trull knows the Coast Bike Share program is ahead of the race. After a year of high usage, it’s become a popular way to get around Downtown Tampa, South Tampa and Ybor City. Now, the program is ready to shift into high gear with the arrival of new developments by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and many others.
“I’m not sure if it’s better to call yourself the chicken or the egg, but a lot of new infrastructure is coming, and [bike sharing] will already be there,” Trull says. “People now want access to downtown from the surrounding residential areas.”
The first year of operations for Coast Bike Share proved to be a welcome alternative public transportation option for Tampa. As of December 2015, Coast Bike Share had 14,971 active members who made 45,858 trips totaling 29,708 miles. Trull says bike usage is split in half between locals and tourists.
“People are amazed at how easy it is to use the system, to get from Point A to Point B, [to] make stops and find a bike hub,” he added.
The bikes are available for use 24/7 and the Ultimate Freedom (pay as you go plan) is $8 per hour. According to Coast Bike statistics, an average weekday ride is 40 minutes, while it rises to 50 minutes on the weekend.
“We see a real uptick [in usage] around 10 a.m. on weekdays,” Trull says. “People jump on the bikes for coffee or lunch.”
Top Hubs, Ranked By Usage (as of August 31, 2017)
CURTIS HIXON PARK — 31 BIKES
Situated in front of the Glazer Children’s Museum, this has historically been Coast’s busiest station. Curtis Hixon has become downtown’s marquee public space, drawing visitors from all over the city for events or just to relax.
E. WHITING STREET AND RIVERWALK — 11 BIKES
This station at MacDill Park is conveniently located for downtown hotel guests, office workers and Riverwalk strollers.
S. FRANKLIN STREET AND OLD WATER STREET — 15 BIKES
Hyde Park and downtown residents can skip the parking hassle at Amalie Arena by using this station, which is also next to the Tampa Convention Center and the Sail Pavilion.
BAYSHORE BOULEVARD AND ROME AVENUE — 5 BIKES
Howard Avenue is not known for its plentiful parking. Ride up Bayshore from downtown to make dinner at Bella’s or Haven easy.
HARBOUR PLACE DRIVE AND HARBOUR POST DRIVE — 16 BIKES
This is Harbour Island’s only Coast station, and it is perfect for islanders looking to get to downtown or Hyde Park.
CUMBERLAND AVENUE AND 11TH STREET — 16 BIKES
Located between Pierhouse at Channelside and Towers of Channelside, two of the Channel District’s most populated buildings, this station is perfect for residents going to work or running errands.
Rules of The Road for Bicyclists
RIDING IN A BIKE LANE
Don’t ride too close to parked cars. Make sure to move to your left and out of the lane before going straight or turning left at an intersection.
RIDING IN A NARROW LANE
If cars are coming from both directions, take control of the situation. Stay in the middle as much as possible, especially on blind curve.
RIDING THROUGH A ROUNDABOUT
All traffic turns right, but bikers should be cautious of drivers not familiar with roundabouts. If you’re going past the first exit, move to the inside of the roundabout.
RIDING IN THE RAIN AND AT NIGHT
Don’t ride without a rear reflector, pedal reflectors or reflective ankle bands.
RIDING ON ONE-WAY STREETS
Bikers are allowed to ride on either side. When turning left from a one-way street onto another one-way street, it’s safest to take the corner on the left.
RIDING SIDE BY SIDE
This is legal in most places, but be courteous on narrower roads. Don’t make drivers wait for you—pull into a single line well before the car arrives.