Biki popular, expanding, and affecting transportation in the islands

Local News

Hawaii’s new bikeshare program is getting popular, and expanding.

To drum up more interest, Bikeshare Hawaii has been offering free 30-minute rides to new users today.

But how has Biki impacted other rental companies?

Biki has been around for about 8 months. It’s not only created competition with other businesses, but with different modes of transportation as well.

Biki users agree – the convenience is what draws them in.

“I just feel like these are easier. They are right here, and you jump on and pick how long you want to ride it for,” Kodee Gardiner from Australia said.

“It’s real convenient to get on the bike and drop it off right across the street from work,” Oahu resident Jimmy Salazar said.

Biki pulls in an average of 2-thousand rides each day.

“65 percent, let’s say two-thirds of the riders of each ride is a resident, so we have a nice balance of both residents and visitors both using Biki,” Bikeshare Hawaii CEO Lori McCarney said.

But that’s one of the reasons why rental shops like Cruzin Hawaii reevaluated its business plan.

“Well, the Bikis came in and basically drove the business out of the water. We were already kind of started to phase out our bicycles, all our bicycle rentals, but that just gave us that little push to exit,” general manager Michael Brown said.

Brown is switching focus from foot pedals to automotive engines.

“We get a lot inquiries about our bicycles because we still have signage that says we have bicycles, so we just point them to the Bikis,” Brown said.

In terms of competition, Bikeshare Hawaii says it’s not about taking away business from rental companies, but getting people out of their cars.

“We want people to ride bikes. We don’t care if they are Bikis or not because the idea is that Biki may introduce people to other biking, and the more people bike, the more people would feel that they can bike,” McCarney said.

Bikeshare Hawaii says this summer it will be expanding its footprint to Iwilei, the University area, and all the way to Diamond Head.

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