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City of Newport gets three new popular Red Bike stations, doubling number of ride-share locations

Red Bike, the popular and convenient bike-sharing system of public transportation that has become a staple of traveling the rideable neighborhoods of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, is once again expanding with three new bike-sharing stations in Newport.

The new Red Bike Stations are located at:

• Bernadette Watkins Park, West Sixth and Patterson streets on the city’s west side
• In front of the Newport City Building, 10th and Monmouth streets in the center of Newport
• At the Newport Branch of the Campbell County Public Library, 901 E. Sixth St. on the city’s east side

Red Bike, which is based in Cincinnati, currently operates four Red Bike Stations in Newport:

• Two stations at along Third Street at Newport on the Levee
• In the East Row Historic District, 317 E. 6th St.
• In the center of Newport, 707 Monmouth St.

Newport City Commissioner Beth Fennell, an avid biker, worked with Newport Assistant City Manager Larisa Sims on a $106,636 grant for the Red Bike stations that was obtained through the city’s partnership with the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

“More Red Bike opportunities in Newport encourages exercise, reduces car traffic, promotes use of public transportation and fits in well with other local health initiatives like ‘Live Well Newport at the Levee,” said Commissioner Fennell. “Biking, instead of car travel, encourages people to visit various parts of town on a more intimate level. Touring the town from bike level and outside of a car has numerous benefits and fosters a more intimate relationship with your surroundings.”

Newport-based Southbank Partners, which coordinates and promotes economic and community development in Northern Kentucky’s river cities, also contributed $15,000 to the Red Bike locations.

“At Southbank, we work every day to improve the connectivity between the river cities and as well as the ability to walk and bike within those cities,” said Southbank President Jack Moreland. “Red Bike does all of that and more and is a perfect fit for the Riverfront Commons trails that is being developed and will eventually connect all of our river cities. This is just another great reason to visit Newport.”

Jason Baron, Executive Director of Red Bike, said Red Bikes have been “super popular” in Newport since the original stations opened in 2015.

“Red Bikes have been a success in Newport since the beginning,” Baron said. “Residents all over the Newport use Red Bikes to commute to and from work in downtown Cincinnati and visit other parts of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.”

Baron said he is excited that a Red Bike location is coming to the city’s burgeoning west side neighborhood, where the improvements to Kentucky Route 9 are attracting new residents, businesses, investment and vitality to the city.

“It is important for us to be on the west side,” Baron said. “It is an important, developing, and growing part of Newport. And with our new locations, we have Red Bike coverage throughout much of the city.”

The Red Bike station in front of The Campbell County Library will help connect Newport’s east and west side neighborhoods while making it easier for west side residents to visit and access the library, said Chantelle Phillips, Manager of the Newport Branch and the Assistant Director of the Campbell County Public Library system.

“We are thrilled to work with the city on a project that benefits our entire community,” Phillips said.

“We have quite a few people who walk to the library, and the Red Bikes are just going to make it so much easier for people to get to and from here and all the other businesses in the area.”

The Newport stations will offer the classic Red Bike bicycles as well as the new electric-assist bicycles, known as E-Bikes, which features a motor between the pedals and battery mounted by the rear wheel. As the rider pedals, the motor provides a boost that makes it easier and more efficient to ride. The motor provides assist up to 17 mph.

E-Bikes were unveiled in the spring, making Greater Cincinnati one of the first communities in the country to offer electric-assist bike share.

“The E-Bikes are really a game-changer,” Barron said. “The E-Bikes make traveling by bicycle much more practical. They allow riders to go farther and faster, all with a little less effort. Plus, they help tackle our many hills.”

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