Dayton Link bike share to expand, add new locations

Link bike share heats up during mild winter. STAFF
Link bike share heats up during mild winter. STAFF

Dayton’s bike share system plans to add hubs in two new areas early next year, which would be its first network expansion in about five years.

Link: Dayton Bike Share plans to add at least one new bike hub in the Carillon neighborhood in West Dayton and the Huffman neighborhood in East Dayton. It’s possible each area could get more than one hub.

Link right now has 27 bike hubs in downtown, Grafton Hill, South Park, Wright Dunbar, St. Anne’s Hill and McPherson Town.

The coronavirus crisis has hurt ridership, but Link is still a popular way to get around, said Laura Estandia, executive director of Bike Miami Valley.

“We’re still seeing lots of recreational trips ― so that’s been good,” she said.

Link Dayton Bike Share says bikes are available to rent all across Dayton. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF
Link Dayton Bike Share says bikes are available to rent all across Dayton. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

Link plans to add new bike hubs in the spring, though the exact locations are unclear at this time.

Carillon is close to the Great Miami River Trail and has some exciting projects underway, like the transformation of Welcome Park into a bike park, Estandia said.

The west side right now only has two hubs ― one in Wright Dunbar and the other by the Jobs Center, along South Edwin C. Moses Boulevard.

“We wanted some more locations on the west side to kind of infill,” Estandia said.

A new hub in the Huffman neighborhood makes a lot of sense because it is a natural expansion of the current system that many people have asked for, she said.

The Huffman Historic Area’s continued revitalization will benefit from a new bike hub, said neighborhood President Matt Jahn.

“It not only adds an amenity to our residents but helps better connect Huffman, its neighbors and businesses to downtown in a responsible and sustainable way," he said.

Carillon neighborhood President Gwen Buchanan said residents are looking forward to using bikes on the river trail and having an convenient way to get to the Brown Street business corridor.

Link recently overhauled its system and swapped out electric and solar-powered docking stations in favor of bike hubs. The bike share program also recently added new electric-assisted bikes.

The new hubs make it easier for Link to expand. The bike-share program has not added any new hubs since 2016.

The program last installed three stations at the Jobs Center, Tech Town and an RTA facility on Longworth Street.

The city of Dayton is sponsoring the hub expansion and is expected to contribute about $85,000 to the project, Estandia said.

Link has seen its daily ridership and use decline during the pandemic, especially in the weekday lunchtime hours, as people spend a lot more time at home, she said.

But it’s still popular for recreational trips, she said, and the new e-bikes have made it a lot easier to travel longer distances and climb hills.

In Other News