Home Bike Share Guide Bike Share HowTos How Charlotte B-cycle Works

How Charlotte B-cycle Works

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Charlotte B-cycle is the first bike share system in North Carolina and the largest urban system in the Southeast. It is a zero-hassle, zero-emissions way to get around Center City. The network is composed of 200 purpose-built, commuter-style bicycles and 21 high-tech stations.

In short, here is how Charlotte B-cycle works.

Purchase a membership online or at any B-station

  1. Our system offers 3 types of memberships: 24-Hour Passes & Annual and Student Memberships (Annual members can take a bike out for 60 minutes rather than 30 minutes) .
  2. Any membership or pass may be purchased online (credit/debit card required).
  3. Only 24-Hour Passes may be purchased at Charlotte B-stations (credit/debit card required).

Don’t forget, there’s an app for that! Have the convenience of knowing bike, dock, and station availability on your mobile phone! Download the B-cycle app on your iPhone or Android phone.

Choose a bike from any B-station

If you do not have a B-card and have not yet purchased a membership:

  1. Press the ‘Start’ button on the kiosk.
  2. Follow the instructions on the touch screen to purchase a 24-Hour Pass.
  3. When prompted, select the dock number of the bike you wish to check out.
  4. The kiosk will unlock the bike from the dock you chose. The dock holding the chosen bike will beep and show a green light until the bike is removed or for about 30 seconds.

If you do not have a B-card, but already have purchased a membership:

  1. Press the ‘Start’ button on the kiosk.
  2. Select ‘No’ when asked if you would like to purchase a membership.
  3. Follow the prompts on the touch screen. When prompted, swipe the same credit card you bought your membership with.
  4. When prompted, select the dock number of the bike you wish to check out.
    The kiosk will unlock the bike from the dock you choose​

Grab a bike and your helmet and go!

Follow these easy steps to ensure the B-cycle is in working order, strap on your helmet, and go!

  1. The TIRES should be hard and not bulging on the pavement. Examine them for any abrasions or bubbles.
  2. Check that the WHEELS spin straight and freely without rubbing against the brake pads or any other parts.
  3. Try shifting to all three GEARS to make sure the chain shifts smoothly.
  4. Squeeze both BRAKES to make sure they are functioning properly.
  5. Adjust the SEAT height and clamp it securely so that your leg almost fully extends when the pedal is down.

REMEMBER: Rides of less than 30 minutes for 24-hour passes and 60 minutes for memberships incur no usage fee. For each additional 30 minutes over the initial ride time, your card will be charged $4. Hint: To avoid usage fees, dock your bike within 30 minutes and check out another to keep going!

Return your bike to any B-station

  1. Return your bike to any Charlotte B-station by rolling it into an available dock.
  2. Wait for three rapid blinks of the green light and three quick beeps. That is your signal that the bike has been securely returned.
how charlotte bcycle works
Source: Charlotte B-cycle Official Website

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Bike Sharing?

Bike sharing is the new way of getting around Center City. It’s convenient, affordable, clean, and simple. It’s good for your health, your pocket, and our environment.

Charlotte B-cycle provides a network of B-stations located within a short distance of one another throughout Center City. As a Charlotte B-cycle member or 24-hour pass holder, you can unlock any of the specially designed bikes at any station and ride it to any other bike share station. It’s fast, simple, and inexpensive. It’s no wonder bike sharing has exploded in popularity around the country over the past few years!

What is Charlotte B-cycle?

Charlotte B-cycle is the first bike share system in North Carolina and the largest urban system in the Southeast. It is a zero-hassle, zero-emissions way to get around Center City. The network is composed of 200 purpose-built, commuter-style bicycles and 21 high-tech stations.

It’s a bike-sharing program that meets the transportation, health, and environmental needs of our community. It’s inexpensive and spontaneous, but also very practical.

Charlotte B-cycle uses technology that calculates and tracks the distance traveled on each ride, the calories you’ve burned, and the carbon emissions you’ve offset by riding a bike. All this information is available to members on their personal B-cycle pages.

What about the actual B-cycle?

Imagine a bike that is always ready to ride, where and when you want to ride it. The tires are always inflated and the chain is never rusty. A bike with a basket to carry your cargo. A bike with front and rear lights and a bell that fits people tall and short. A bike that’s there whenever you need it, and gone when you don’t. That’s a B-cycle. And it’s powered by the ultimate alternative fuel: you.

How does the B-cycle technology work?

Proprietary GPS (global positioning system) and RFID (radio frequency identification) technologies make it possible to track all rides in the system and associated with members. Data such as distance, ride duration, calories burned, and carbon offset are captured and uploaded to personal web pages that you may log in to view at charlottebcycle.com.

B-cycles are equipped with an internal GPS device that tracks the bike’s trips. Other technology associates each trip with the member who checked out the bike. After this information is transferred to B-cycle’s computers, algorithms translate the trip information into estimates of the number of calories burned and carbon emissions avoided (as compared to the use of an average automobile for the same trip). If there are technical errors with the data collection or transfer, an estimate will be applied and clearly noted as such.

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