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One year in, Syracuse bike share program expanding

Ellen Abbott
WRVO News (file photo)

Since Syracuse launched its bike sharing program last July, 2,000 people have used the Gotcha bikes for a total of 9,000 trips and Paul Colabufo, the local community manager for Gotcha, said interest continues to rise.

"In this last month alone, we had almost 3,000 rides," Colabufo said. "We're really growing quite well."

Bike share companies in other New York cities like Rochester and Ithaca recently ended their programs in part due to losses related to the Coronavirus pandemic. But in Syracuse the statewide quarantine didn't hurt Gotcha, if anything it helped. Recreational use of the bikes has skyrocketed now that the company has placed more of them in residential areas and nearby parks.

"When the lockdown came, our bikes were mostly around where people work and where people go to school," He said. "So, I made the decision that we really need to get into neighborhoods and the parks and those have become very well-used hubs, they're a real hit with the residents."

Colabufo said Gotcha plans to increase the total number of bikes in the city from 200 to possibly 300 by the end of the year.