April 26, 2010; Source: WalletPop.com  | The many hundreds who are in town for the annual Council on Foundations (COF) conference can get a good look at a public and nonprofit partnership that launched last week in Denver to get residents and visitors out of their cars and on to bicycles. Riders can rent one of 500 cherry red bikes, available at stands around the city, for short-term trips, errands or just to feel the breeze in their faces. When finished, they return the bikes to the same or another stand.

The $3.2 million effort—Denver’s B-cycle—is being underwritten by the city and corporate sponsors, and a nonprofit is managing the program. “The goal is to offer residents and visitors an alternative form of transportation that prevents air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions,” said Brent C. Tongco, a spokesman for the city and county of Denver.” To use the bikes, riders pay either a monthly, weekly or daily membership fee, which costs $65, $20, and $5 respectively. In addition, there’s a usage fee that kicks in after the first 30 minutes. Maximum fee for a full day’s rental is $65.

Whether he was speaking to the COF group in town or not, hopefully some will hear his message. “The bikes make it easy to get around town from one spot to another,” said Richard Scharf, president and CEO of VISIT DENVER, a nonprofit association that contracts with the city of Denver.” You can pick up a bike at the Colorado Convention Center and drop it near the Denver Art Museum. Then, after seeing the museum, you can pick up another bike and ride it to a station near your hotel.”—Bruce Trachtenberg