More Nebraskans are gaining access to healthy, sustainable transportation with the expansion of Heartland Bike Share’s program.

Heartland Bike Share, the first large-scale bike sharing system in the Omaha metro, began in Aksarben Village in 2011, with the help of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska. The program has grown over time, and with a 16 percent increase in use from 2016 to 2017, 38 new stations are being added to the metro in 2018 to keep up with the demand.

Lincoln residents gained access to the low-cost bike rentals in April. The Lincoln side of Heartland’s program, called BikeLNK, includes 19 stations located throughout the downtown area and on the University of Nebraska at Lincoln’s campus.

Several Omaha college campuses, including the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the University of Nebraska at Omaha, are included in the Omaha expansion.

Why rent a bike from one of Heartland Bike Share’s many stations? Because the program provides convenient, sustainable transportation options and opportunities for exercise.

For college students and workers throughout Nebraska, the program provides a convenient transportation alternative that doesn’t require hunting for a parking spot in car-packed garages. Students and working professionals can instead pick up a rental and drop it back off at any location.

The bike share program also helps to keep Nebraska green. According to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, the average car emits around one pound of carbon dioxide per mile. Choosing to bike rather than drive reduces the amount of carbon dioxide emitted and helps lower your carbon footprint.

Peddling around town on one of Heartland Bike Share’s rentals provides a “great opportunity to engage in physical activity,” Wellness Coordinator Caroline Kahnk said.

“Taking advantage of the Heartland Bike Share program is a convenient way to get active,” Kahnk said. “Not only is it easy to use, it can help to increase exercise into your daily routine, but also incorporate active transportation into your lifestyle.”

Whether you pedal to avoid traffic, eliminate parking woes or just for a good sweat—Heartland B-cycle offers a convenient and affordable option.

For more information on the B-cycle program, visit their website.