Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Let's go CoGo!

A little over a month ago, Columbus launched a bike sharing program called CoGo. The initial installation is 30 stations (300 bikes) in the downtown area. Yesterday I tried it out from home to the brewery (my new employer). Witness my attempt at giving you a visual as to where these locations are and roughly the route I took:

OK, not great, but hopefully you get the idea. It's roughly 2.7 miles from my house to the brewery. I walked a couple blocks to the nearest CoGo station, then rode to one that's just a couple blocks from the brewery. It was a pretty hot day so I was, shall we say, glistening by the time I got there. I had a tour of the brewing process and left a couple hours later, got another bike and then rode to Giant Eagle, where there is also a CoGo station. I bought a few groceries and put them in my backpack, got another bike and rode back to the station closest to my house.

Here's the scoop on CoGo. It costs $6 for a 24-hour period, but you can only have a bike out of the station for 30 minutes at a time (if you go over the 30 minutes, it's $3/half hour). There's a kiosk where you swipe your debit/credit card and you get a code to be able to unlock a bike. You must dock it at another station to stop the clock. When you're ready to make your return trip, or go somewhere else, you swipe your card again for a new code (you're not charged again). You can do this as many times as you want in 24 hours.

There's also an annual pass option for $75. For my math-challenged friends, that means if you use the system 13 days in one year, it's worth it.


The bikes are easy to ride, but they're 3-speed, and frankly first gear is a joke, especially in Columbus where everything is relatively flat. You need to bring your own helmet (in my house, we never get on a bike without a helmet, and if you don't already know why, you'll find out tomorrow). There is a place in front where you can strap in a bag or something, although I didn't try that.

Now, you might be thinking "but Gwen, don't you already have a bicycle of your own?" Yes, but by using CoGo I don't have to wear special bike shoes that clip in to the pedals, I don't need to take a lock with me, and I don't need to worry about the maintenance. My bike is meant for riding distances, not tooling around town.

I'll definitely use it again; I think soon I'll go to the library, as there's a station there as well.

Do you have bike sharing where you live? Have you ever used it? Would you?


  1. I was JUST having a conversation about how those work! Thanks for the rundown. May have to give that a shot...

  2. I have one right around the corner from my house in German Village. My partner and I rode from the station on 3rd to the North Market station and then on down to the one by Jeni's in the short north and back home. It was great being able to ride a bike, I haven't had one in years. It was also nice not having to worry about locking the bike up between rides. Can't wait to go again!

  3. They had it in Charlotte but only Uptown. I wish they had it here at the beach, I can see tourist loving it.

  4. that is sooooo cool! what a fantastic idea!

  5. No bike sharing here. That's a great idea! I'd definitely use it although riding on the streets with cars does freak me out.

  6. This is awesome! Seattle is supposed to get Bike Share next spring with 500 bikes and 50 stops. We also have a car share program. I like the bike idea better, but there are so many hills here! :)

  7. We also have a very similar bike sharing program in my city (capital.bixi.com). At the beginning of every summer, I tell myself that I want to start using it then Fall comes around... and I must add it to my "to do list" for the following summer! :)

  8. We were told about those on our segway tour! I wish there was a longer time frame to choose from because thirty minutes isn't that much time.


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