Denver’s Lincoln light rail station area gets its own bike share program

staff photo
The new M-Bike system. (Courtesy of Meridian Metro District)

The new M-Bike system. (Courtesy of Meridian Metro District)

The Denver Tech Center is a kingdom of many fiefs, which means many approaches to transportation.

For example, if you happen to live or work in the 2.6 square miles of the Meridian International Business Center, there is now a bike sharing program with 50 bikes that you can use. 

That includes 11 stations with 100 docks for completed trips. Plus, next spring, Meridian Metro District may double the size of the system, says general manager Eric Hecox.

“Between now and next spring, we’ll learn a fair bit in terms of the data who’s using it, where are they checking out and returning bikes, where are we potentially having stations that are underused, where are we having ones that are overused and then, when we launch phase two, we will then use those lessons,” he said.

At that point, the district may elect to double the size of the program or add approximately 50 percent more. With feasibility studies conducted a year ago and a relatively strong bike culture, Hecox says the district has “every reason to believe it’s going to be successful.”

As someone who used to commute to the Dry Creek Station, I was more dubious. Where I worked in the Denver Tech Center area, biking was not a comfortable experience. Here’s where the many different pockets of the area come into play again, according to Hecox.

“One, [Meridian International Business Center] is about 1,600 acres of office park, so it’s rather large, but currently it’s only about 60 percent built out,” he said. “So we still have a fair bit of vacant land within the Meridian district, so it doesn’t have the density that [other areas] may have.”

Also, there’s more people biking in the area already:

“There’s already a pretty established bike culture because of [the Meridian Inverness Loop],” he said. “Potentially, we’ve got a little bit better biking infrastructure in that you can get off the road and be able to bike safely.”

The easiest way to use the bikes is to download an app to your phone from Zagster, the company that Meridian Metro District is leasing its bikes from. It costs $2 per hour to use a bike, but several employers are making the program free for their employees, says Hecox.