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Red Bike expansion includes the West Side's first station: Lower Price Hill

Tana Weingartner

After four years of pandemic and supply chain delays, Cincinnati’s non-profit bike share program is using a federal grant to expand. Red Bike has opened a few new stations downtown and in Over-the-Rhine this summer, and will launch the first West Side docking station late next week in Lower Price Hill.

“Obviously, one of the challenges with expanding Red Bike in Cincinnati is all of the hills and kind of the density of the neighborhoods,” said Executive Director Jason Barron. “Once you get outside of Downtown and kind of around the university area, we just aren't as dense as cities like Chicago and New York. And it's hard to have stations that serve the needs of the community.”

Stations new this summer include by the Downtown public library, at Ziegler Park in Over-the-Rhine, West Court Street in The West End, and a second station at Smale Riverfront Park near Great American Ballpark.

“The original station we have down there is by the Roebling bridge, and that's our busiest station in the system and has been since we installed it,” Barron said.

Red Bike stations are primarily clustered Downtown and in Clifton, Over-the-Rhine, Covington and Newport. Barron says Lower Price Hill is the perfect place to start expanding west; the station will be right near Eighth Street and State Ave.

“Eighth Street’s got beautiful bike lanes on it,” Barron said. “Everyone that lives in that neighborhood will be able to walk to that station, and then access Red Bike both to use just to hang out in the neighborhood and to ride bikes around their own community, but then also will be able to take Eighth Street downtown really easily.”

Separate from this summer’s grant-funded expansion, Red Bike is in the planning stages of launching in four new neighborhoods: Avondale and Evanston next year, then Bond Hill and Roselawn the year after. Cincinnati Council approved half a million dollars late last year to fund the new stations.

Barron says Red Bike is working with the community council and other local leaders to determine the best place for docking stations in the neighborhoods.

Someone else will oversee that expansion, as Barron soon leaves Red Bike to take over as director of the city Parks Department. Barron says current Operations Manager Doug McClintock will take over as interim director.

Becca Costello grew up in Williamsburg and Batavia (in Clermont County) listening to WVXU. Before joining the WVXU newsroom, she worked in public radio & TV journalism in Bloomington, Indiana and Lincoln, Nebraska. Becca has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including from local chapters of the Associated Press and Society of Professional Journalists, and contributed to regional and national Murrow Award winners. Becca has a master's degree in journalism from Indiana University and a bachelor's degree from Cincinnati Christian University. Becca's dog Cincy (named for the city they once again call home) is even more anxious than she is.