It has been three years since Coast Bike Share rolled into Tampa Bay, bringing a healthy, fun, two-wheeled transportation option to the region. Members of the community were out in force on Wednesday, December 6 to help us celebrate.
Festivities kicked off at 6pm with a guided group ride, departing from Curtis Hixon Park’s Winter Village. Led by Coast’s Regional Director Eric Trull and fueled by coffee and festive treats from Kahwa Coffee, party-goers cycled through Davis Island, Channelside and Ybor City, before landing at Hidden Springs Ale Works in Tampa Heights for beer, a bbq feast from Sarge’s BBQ, and Coast’s inaugural MVB (Most Valuable Biker) Awards.
Recognizing people, partners and places, which have played a role in Coast Bike Share’s success, bike share members voted in three categories – Coast Partner Business of the year (Tampa), Coastable Bike Ride of the Year (Tampa), and Best New Cycle Facility Project (Tampa). Coast Bike Share staff awarded members who have taken the most trips, traveled the most miles, and been the most vocal brand ambassadors. Awards for St. Pete MVBs will take place in February at the system’s one-year anniversary.
Award categories and winners:
- Coast’s Tampa Partner Business of the Year – Holy Hog BBQ
- Coast Bike Share members receive a discount on Holy Hog purchases when showing their ride route in the Social Bicycles app.
- Best New Cycle Facility Project – Cass Street Protected Traffic Light Upgrade
- For removing the cyclist-specific lights with short greens and replacing them with standard lights enabling a cyclist to move through the corridor quickly and easily.
- Coastable Bike Ride of the Year – History Bike Tampa
- Bi-monthly history bike tours taking in the sights and stories of Tampa’s neighborhoods.
- Most Valuable Partner of the Year – Tampa Downtown Partnership
- For continued support and funding of the Coast Bike Share program, including the 2017 and 2018 system expansion in Tampa.
- Coast’s MVB Miles – Amy L
- For her 1434 miles ridden on Coast bikes.
- Coast’s MVB Trips – Kevin Henika
- For his 1200 trips taken on Coast bikes.
- Coast’s MVB Corporate Member – Tindale Oliver
- For continued company-wide use of bike share.
- Coast’s MVB Brand Champion – Christina Acosta
- One of Coast Bike Share’s most vocal supporters, Executive Director of Walk Bike Tampa, Owner of Pedal Power Promoters, and a spearhead for bicycle-friendly initiatives in the Tampa Bay region.
Kevin Henika, who was awarded Coast’s Most Valuable Biker for his 1200 trips said: “I work at City Hall. Before bike share, I would park on the outskirts of downtown Tampa and walk into work. Now, with bike share stations available all over downtown, I still park on the outskirts of town, but I can cycle to work. Even in the hottest months, I arrive feeling refreshed.”
Dario Peters, General Manager for Holy Hog, on being awarded Coast’s Tampa Partner Business of the Year said: “Bike share is a great thing for Tampa. It’s a way to go green, be environmentally friendly, and help the city to move forward.”
Christine Acosta was awarded Coast’s MVB Brand Champion. She said: “It’s amazing to win the brand champion award. I’m not just a cheerleader for Coast; I’ve ridden bike share systems in 16 cities and eight different countries, so when I advocate bike share, it’s from a solid knowledge base and with a lot of admiration for the business, the people who run it, and what it means for our people and communities.”
In three years, Coast Bike Share members have traveled 516,471 miles on the distinctive blue bikes, burning 20,658,874 calories, and reducing 455,434 pounds of carbon emissions.
It has been a great three years, Tampa Bay! We can’t wait to see what year four brings.