GENERAL QUESTIONS

What is bike sharing?

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

Imagine a network of bike stations located within a few blocks of one another throughout your community. As a bike-sharing member, you can unlock any of the specially designed bikes at any station and ride it to any other bike station. Fast, simple, inexpensive. It’s no wonder bike sharing has exploded in popularity the past few years.

What is B-cycle?

B-cycle is a next-next-generation bike-sharing program. It is a zero-hassle, zero-emissions way to get around town. It’s a bike-sharing program that meets the transportation, health and environmental needs of our communities. One that adapts to any size city, corporation, or campus. It’s free and spontaneous but also practical.

 

B-cycle is the only bike-sharing program that measures the actual distance traveled on each ride and keeps track of the calories you’ve burned and the carbon emissions you’ve prevented. All this information is available on your personal B-cycle web page.

B-cycle is the future of bike sharing, and it’s available now.

 

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 knapsack. 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 do I get more B-stations in my city?

Contact Partners for Active Living at Bcycle@active-living.org.  We are looking for sponsors to assist in expanding the program in the downtown corridor and throughout Spartanburg County.

Who is B-cycle?

B-cycle is a collaboration among three major American companies:

 • Humana

 • Trek Bicycle Corporation

 • Crispin Porter + Bogusky

The three partners share one common goal: changing the way you get around. And thereby changing our communities for the better. So grab a B-cycle from the nearest B-station and we’re on our way.

In Spartanburg, the program is coordinated by Partners for Active Living (www.active-living.org) and supported by the Mary Black Foundation and the City of Spartanburg.

How does B-cycle work?

B-cycle relies on the integration of hardware and software to keep track of members and bikes, and all the interactions between users and bikes. Proprietary GPS (global positioning system) and RFID (radio frequency identification) technologies make it possible for bike sharing to be so smart that it is simple for users.

All rides are tracked by the system and associated with members. Data such as distance, duration, calories burned and carbon offset are captured and uploaded to personal web pages at Bcycle.com.

How much does B-cycle cost?

Different B-cycle systems (cities, campuses, etc.) charge different amounts, and each system’s website provides all the details. 

The cost to use a B-cycle is divided into two components: a membership fee and a usage fee. 

MEMBERSHIP FEE  

The membership fee provides unlimited access to a B-cycle system for a specific period of time, typically ranging from one day to one year.

USAGE FEE

Usage fees are charged based on the length of each ride taken by a member, and are typically broken down into half-hour increments. In Spartanburg, the first hour is free and usage fees are only assessed for rides that exceed one hour. 

Check the website of your system for details about membership fees and usage fees.

MEMBERSHIPS AND FEES

Can I become a B-cycle member if I don’t have a credit card?

B-cycle requires that all accounts be associated with a credit card. 

Can I use a debit card to register as a B-cycle member?

Not at this time.

What is a B-card, and how does it work?

A B-card is a plastic card distributed to B-cycle annual members. The cards contain an RFID chip uniquely associated with each member’s account. When the B-card is presented at a B-cycle dock, the B-cycle system is queried to confirm that the member is in good standing and to associate the member with the bicycle they are checking out. 

When a bicycle is returned, the B-cycle system updates the member’s account.

B-cards also contain a magnetic strip so the cards can be read by the credit card reader found on the kiosk, thereby allowing the B-card holder to obtain time credits when a station is full.

How do I get a B-card?

B-cards are issued to all annual and 30-day members. B-cards are generally sent in the mail following online registration but delivery methods vary from one system to another. Refer to the website for the Spartanburg initiative.

How often is my credit card charged for B-cycle fees?

For memberships of thirty days or less, a user’s credit card is charged once or twice. The membership fee will be charged at the time of registration. If any usage fees have accrued during the membership period, a second charge will be processed following the end of the membership period. 

For memberships of more than thirty days, there will be an initial charge for the membership fee at the time of registration, and thereafter there will be a monthly charge for usage fees, if any, accrued during each month of the membership. A final charge will be processed following the end of the membership period. 

How does B-cycle determine the ending date for membership periods described as “daily,” “monthly” and “annual”?

Membership periods begin the first time a bike is checked out following initial registration. Daily memberships end 24 hours later. Monthly memberships end 720 hours later (30 days times 24 hours). Annual memberships end 8,760 hours later (365 days times 24 hours). 

Can I buy a membership for someone as a gift?

Not at this time.

PERSONAL ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT

How do I extend my membership to a later expiration date?

If you have a membership that is shorter than annual, you can upgrade it to an annual membership by paying the additional amount necessary. To be eligible for this upgrade option, you must upgrade before your other membership expires. For example, if you bought a monthly membership for $15 on July 1 that expires on July 30, you can log in to your personal web page anytime in July and upgrade to an annual membership that will expire on June 30 of the following year. If the cost of an annual membership is $30, you will have to pay only $15 ($30 minus $15) for the upgrade.

Annual members also have the option of automatically renewing their annual memberships by selecting Auto-Renewal in the Account Preferences section of their personal web page.

Will I still be able to access my personal B-cycle web page after my membership period ends?

Personal web pages remain “live” for three years after the lapse of membership. 

What should I do if I’ve lost my B-card?

Go online to your personal B-cycle web page and suspend your card, or call Partners for Active Living at 864.598.9638 immediately so that we can suspend the card and prevent anyone else from using your card to gain access to a bicycle for which you are financially responsible.

A replacement card will be provided for a nominal fee.

While waiting for your replacement B-card to arrive, you can check out bikes by using the kiosk at each station. You must present the credit card associated with your membership account. 

What if I don’t agree with a credit card charge?

Call Partners for Active Living: 864.598.9638.

 What if I want to cancel my membership?

Membership fees are non-refundable but if you wish to suspend your account to prevent any new usage fees, call Partners for Active Living or manage your account on your personal B-cycle web page.

How can my B-card get denied?

Upon presenting your B-card at a station kiosk or dock for authentication, the system checks whether your account is in good standing. If there is a problem, your card will be denied. Please call Partners for Active Living to determine the cause of the problem.

How do I receive or stop text notifications?

When registering, members can choose whether they want to receive text notifications. Members can change that preference anytime thereafter by logging into their personal B-cycle web page and managing their account settings.

How do I change or update my credit card information?

Members can change their credit card information by logging into their personal B-cycle web page and managing their account settings.

What should I do if a bike gets damaged while I have it checked out?

Return a damaged bike to a B-station, if possible, or if that is not possible, securely lock it and contact Partners for Active Living at 864.598.9638 or Bcycle@active-living.org. Do not ride a bike with damage that affects its safety features.

Members are financially liable for damages to bikes under their care. Refer to Terms and Conditions for your system.

What if I lose the key?

Contact Partners for Active Living at 864.598.9638 or Bcycle@active-living.org. There will be a fee for a lost key. Refer to the Spartanburg website of specific systems.

What if the bike is stolen? Will I be financially responsible for the loss of the bike?

Contact Partners for Active Living at 864.598.9638 or Bcycle@active-living.org. Under the Terms and Conditions agreed to upon registering for membership, members may be liable up to a specified limit if a bicycle is stolen or lost while under their care. Refer to the Terms and Conditions posted on your system’s website.

When does my membership period begin?

Your membership period begins the first time you check out a bike.

How do I find my personal ride statistics?

Information about each member’s use of B-cycles is posted to that member’s personal B-cycle web page. Members must log in to view the information, which includes such information as the date and duration of each trip, the station from which the bike was checked out and the station to which the bike was returned, the distance pedaled, the usage fee (if any), the associated calories burned, and carbon offset.

How does B-cycle calculate my miles ridden, etc.?

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.

Can I buy more than one membership with my credit card?

When signing up online, only one membership can be associated with a credit card. When buying a one-day membership at a kiosk, more than one membership can be associated with a credit card, but the same card must be presented each time a bike is checked out during the membership period.

USING A B-CYCLE SYSTEM

Is it legal to ride a bike without a helmet?

Adults may legally ride a bike without a helmet everywhere in the United States, but Spartanburg B-cycle strongly recommends wearing a helmet whenever riding a bicycle.

Does B-cycle provide helmets for riders?

No. There are hygiene and safety issues with shared helmet use. It is the responsibility of the rider to supply his or her own helmet. 

Can I check out a bike immediately after returning a bike?

B-cycle reserves the right to impose a rule that requires a short waiting period between returning a bike and checking out another. Refer to the website of specific systems.

What do the lights and sounds on the dock signify?

 

A B-cycle dock beeps when a bike has been unlocked or when the bike has been returned.

When the bike is unlocked, the dock beeps continuously until the bike is removed (or 30 seconds, whichever comes first). The green light will also flash from the time the bike is unlocked until it is removed from the dock.

When a bike is returned and properly inserted into the dock, the dock will beep three times very quickly, and the green light will likewise blink three times very rapidly.

If the red “X” is lit on the dock, there is a problem with either the bike or the dock itself. Try a different dock!

If the orange “bad card” sign is lit, we need to talk to you about a problem with your membership. Just call the Customer Service number printed on your B-card or displayed on the bikes and kiosk.

 

Can minors participate in B-cycle?

The rules for participating in B-cycle vary from one system to another. Refer to the website of specific systems.

Are B-cycle systems open 24 hours a day, seven days a week?

Spartanburg B-cycle operates from 5:00 am - 10:00 pm. During closure periods, if any, it will not be possible to check out a bike, but bikes can be returned when the system is closed. 

Are B-cycle systems open all year?

Spartanburg B-cycle intends on being open all year. If the weather in January and February is treacherous, then the program may be closed for a short period of time.  Refer to the website of specific systems.

What if the station where I want to return a bike is closed?

Bikes can be returned any time, regardless of whether the system is open or closed. Two beeps and two green blinks indicate a successful return. 

What if I have a flat tire?

Please return a bike with a flat tire to the nearest B-station. If that is impossible, you must properly secure the bike with the built-in lock and contact Partners for Active Living at 864.598.9638.

What if I am involved in an accident?

If there has been an injury, please dial 911 first. If you are qualified to administer first aid and there is a need, please help out to the limit of your abilities. If appropriate, contact the police, as well. As in any accident, exchange information with any other affected party and collect contact information from witnesses. Contact Partners for Active Living at the earliest appropriate time.

What if a station is full and I need to find an empty dock to return a bike?

If you have a bike you wish to return, but there are no available docks at a station, you must locate a station with available docks and return the bike there. The kiosk located at each station will provide real-time information about which nearby stations have available docks. The kiosks at full stations will also add 15 free minutes to your ride so that you can take the bike to an open station without financial penalty.

What if a station is empty, but I want to check out a bike?

The B-cycle website and associated mobile applications for each system provides a map of all B-stations in that system with real-time information about the availability of bikes.

What if I want to reserve a bike?

B-cycle does not allow members to reserve a bike.

What if I want to keep a bike all day or longer?

B-cycle is a bike-sharing system designed to promote the constant use and turnover of bikes for short journeys. The pricing system provides incentives for members to keep their trips short. The longer the trip, the higher the usage fee. B-cycle system operators will seek to recover bikes that have not been returned after a specified period of time, and bikes not returned within a three-day limit will be considered lost and members will be liable for a replacement fee (see the applicable Terms and Conditions).

How do I find stations?

The B-cycle website and associated mobile applications for each system provide a map of all B-stations in that system. In some locations, maps may also be displayed at B-stations.

Why can’t I sign up for more than one day at a kiosk?

To make the kiosk sign-up process as simple and quick as possible, only one-day memberships are available at the kiosks.