BikeWalkKC and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City Partner to Create BikeShareKC

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BikeWalkKC, the region’s bike and pedestrian advocacy organization, announced its partnership today with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC). Through this partnership, BikeWalkKC will launch BikeShareKC. Blue KC will help fund development of this new bike share system of transportation between Crown Center and the River Market.

BikeShareKC demo

“As Kansas City’s wellness leader, Blue KC is committed to this community’s wellness. Our partnership with BikeShareKC embodies this commitment,” said David Gentile, President and Chief Executive Officer of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City.

On Thursday, the City will vote on a Resolution to permit the establishment of BikeShareKC in summer 2012. In accordance with this Resolution, the City will commit to increasing the number of bicycle lanes along the BikeShareKC route to encourage usage and promote a safe and accessible form of transportation.

BikeShareKC aims to change the face of transportation in Kansas City, by offering a cheaper and easier way for residents and tourists to be get around in Kansas City. The system will offer an alternative public transportation option for short, one-way trips and will fill in the public transportation gaps with bike stations at many popular downtown locations. The bikes and kiosks will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and nine months out of the year. The stations will have a smart phone application that will allow riders to find out about bike and station availability in real-time.

The bikes will have a tracker that will allow riders to track their miles ridden, calories burned and carbon dioxide savings. Riders can easily burn 300 calories with two half-hour trips between destinations. Over period of one month, with daily use, a member could burn 9,000 calories – that’s a pound or two lost just by incorporating bike sharing into daily life.

BikeWalkKC is partnering with Blue KC to bring bike share to Kansas City as a healthy low-cost transportation option. Blue KC will take the lead in driving development of BikeShareKC by enlisting other leaders in the business community to commit to sponsorships, advertising deals and/or augmenting their employee wellness offering by subsidizing memberships. Together, they hope to have 20 bike stations and 200 bikes in place in and around the downtown Kansas City area by summer 2012.

“As Kansas City’s wellness leader, Blue KC is committed to this community’s wellness. Our partnership with BikeShareKC embodies this commitment,” said David Gentile, President and Chief Executive Officer of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City. “BikeShareKC offers a much needed alternative form of transportation around Kansas City, while also promoting physical activity to its residents.”

A BikeShareKC annual membership will cost approximately $60.00. This yearly membership fee permits participants an unlimited number of 30 to 45 minute trips. For longer trips, members will be charged a small, graduated usage fee. Daily and weekly memberships will also be available for those who wish to use the system less frequently.

The BikeShareKC system will be designed to serve as a solution to the final leg of trips for those who use public transportation. According to BikeWalkKC Executive Director Eric Rogers, “BikeShareKC will bridge the awkward distances that are too far to walk but too short to drive. It will also expand the reach of the transit system by providing new options for the ‘last mile’. And it will help clear the air while giving Kansas Citians a new option for being healthy and active.”

About BikeWalkKC
BikeWalkKC is the unified voice for active living, promoting a healthy, safe and accessible outdoor experience for all in a vibrant, engaged community. BikeWalkKC is a member-supported organization that works to make Greater Kansas City a safer and more accessible place to walk, bicycle, live, work, and play. The advocacy programs work with local cities to improve policies and build sidewalks, trails, crosswalks, bike lanes, and more. BikeWalkKC's education programs give people the knowledge and skills to walk and to bicycle safely and confidently for transportation, recreation, and fitness. Learn more at BikeWalkKC.org.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, the largest not-for-profit health insurer in the state and the only not-for-profit health insurer in Kansas City, has been part of the Kansas City community since 1938. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City provides health coverage services to nearly one million residents in the greater Kansas City area and Northwest Missouri. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information on our company, visit our website at BlueKC.com. Our mission statement: We will use our role as the area's leading health insurer to provide affordable access to health care and to improve the health and wellness of our members.

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