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  • A Letter from the Executive Director

    by Chris Buck | Mar 18,2020

    Hello Link Members - 


    I have some positive, yet bittersweet news during this trying time for many in our community. 


    First, the good news. Many of you have waited patiently these last few years to watch Link grow and expand. You’ve asked for more Link locations repeatedly in our annual survey, and from the very beginning, the staff at Bike Miami Valley and our operational partner, Greater Dayton RTA have been working diligently behind the scenes to find a path forward to help Link grow. Today, I am pleased to announce that we’ve found that path. 


    When we launched the system in May of 2015, the world of bike sharing looked very different. Today, bike share programs have evolved into micromobility programs that bring new devices and new technologies to the field. In the winter of 2019, the board and staff at Bike Miami Valley and Greater Dayton RTA set out to leverage some of those new technologies and devices to help us evolve the system into something that will better meet Dayton’s needs. 


    When we set out to explore new system types, we knew we wanted to lower the cost of expansion to help us increase density, and add electric bicycles to our fleet to reach more users. We also knew we  wanted to help RTA fulfill their Mobility-as-a-Service vision and integrate with transit. This process led us to a new partnership with the micromobility provider, Drop Mobility. The team at Drop is enthusiastic to help us better serve your mobility needs, and we look forward to welcoming them to Dayton.


    So what does all of this mean for you?


    Introducing eLink!

    We’ll be adding 100 e-bikes to our fleet! The electric motor on these bikes will assist you when you pedal. We think they’re tons of fun, and we can’t wait for you to try them! These bikes will be white with green accents to help them stand out. We will keep you posted on opportunities to get a test ride in before the full launch. 

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    (This is a demo version of the eLink bike)

    More Locations! 

    We’re evolving to a lock-to hub system. Our stations will be replaced with dedicated bike racks, where you will leave and pick up the green Link bikes and eLink bikes, just like you currently do. You will check out the bikes exclusively with the soon-to-be-live, Link Dayton app! The new process will feel a lot like locking a personal bike to a rack. This new set-up will give us more freedom and flexibility to move locations when there is construction or increase parking at popular events. Link bike parking will remain predictable and reliable as within the current system. The green Link bikes will be retrofitted with a smart-lock upgrade so they can communicate with the app. The goal this spring is to get our existing locations swapped. Service will be disrupted for a period of time (more on that later). You will receive specific instructions related to your membership during this time. We thank you in advance for your patience. Be sure to follow us on social media and right here in this newsletter to learn about where new locations will be added when we reopen the system. 


    Transit Integration!

    Greater Dayton RTA’s long term goal is that you’ll be able to plan and pay for all of our micromobility trips in one platform. Our goal this spring is to keep our bikes visible on the Transit app (where you can currently plan your bus trip). Deeper levels of integration will follow in the coming years, but we hope one app for all modes makes it easier for more people to take advantage of active transportation options. 


    I say all of this with the recognition that this news brings about a lot of change and a lot of unanswered questions about how things will work moving forward. Rest assured that those answers are coming. As existing members, you will receive a special invite to join the new system at a rate no one else will see. If you have time left on your annual membership, it will be honored in the new system. We thank you for your loyalty these last (almost five!) years. 


    The bittersweet news is that due to the current health crisis, we’re moving up our closing date for the transition of the system by a few weeks to March 22nd. You can still use Link through March 21st. If you do use Link during the coming days, I want to remind you to take the following precautions:

    • Be sure to wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water after using Link

    • Avoid touching your face after using Link

    • Avoid using Link if you suspect you are sick

    • Bring Your Own Wipes (BYOW)! Though the bikes having been going through a cleaning this winter, this will ensure a clean ride

    • Keep a distance of 6 feet between yourself and other riders if you choose to ride with people

    • Finally, have fun! It is a bike ride after all.


    I would be remiss if I didn’t say “Thank you” to the City of Dayton and our operational partner Greater Dayton RTA, who have been great partners in making this new system a reality. 


    Stay tuned for more details on this transition. With your continued support, Link will roll on! 


    All the best,


    Laura Estandia

    Executive Director


  • A Few Changes on the Horizon

    by Chris Buck | Mar 22,2018
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    We’re proud that Link: Dayton Bike Share has helped more than 10,000 people rediscover their love for bicycling since its launch in 2015. We’re so grateful for all of the support we receive daily from our dedicated users, which is why we want you to be the first to hear about some important changes to the system this year.


    As we get older and seek to sustain the system, some clear changes needed to be made to our pricing model. On May 7th, the Annual Membership price will increase from $65 to $70. We'll also be lowering the Annual Membership cost for students to $25, as we look to make the system more accessible to students. As Annual Members take an increasing number of trips, we feel these are necessary changes to keep the system rolling. We will also be raising the monthly membership cost from $10 to $12, and purchasing a Link RFID card will be an optional, one-time $5 addition to these members types. The cost for a 24-Hour Membership will remain the same.


    Our dedicated Annual Members are the backbone of our ridership and take more than 60% of all trips. Late last year, we surveyed this particular group to see if they would be open to a slight price increase. The response was very positive, and we appreciate this groups’ dedication to seeing the system sustain and grow. We’ll be sending out plenty of reminders about this change between now and May 7th, so you’ll have plenty of time to renew your membership before the price changes. Your new membership will start when your old one expires, regardless of purchase date. If you are an employee of one of our many founding sponsors, you can view your renewal code on this page.


    Another small change we’ll be making this year is to the time when your Annual Membership starts. From now on your membership will start on the date of purchase and not on the date you take your first trip. We feel this will be an easier date for our customers to remember moving forward and will align with their purchase date.


    We’re proud to serve the Dayton community with a friendly and fun way to see the city by the speed of bike. Thank you all for your continued support! And remember - May 7th!


  • Linking to Sustainability

    by Chris Buck | Aug 18,2017

    This content supported by: Redfin


    Live Work Play. If you have been paying any attention to the movement of people to urban areas, you most likely have heard these three words used together. It is the calling of downtowns, big and small across the country to attract people back to the urban core. As we are seeing here in Dayton with the building of new housing options, and high occupancy rates, people are wanting to live in the core of the city. With new entertainment and recreation options, there are certainly places to play. New businesses are moving in and taking over more spaces in downtown, allowing for people to live, work and play in the center of the city and surrounding historic neighborhoods. We talk with lots of people that live and play in Dayton and work in another area, and we talk with lots of people that live outside of downtown that come here to work and for entertainment and recreation. It is great to hear about the different ways people are enjoying the city and how they use Link to enjoy it more.

    Link Dayton Bike Share Riders
    (Photo by Andrew Thompson)

    One of the most attractive parts of having a downtown where you can live, work and play is having amenities that support a more sustainable lifestyle. A sustainable life meaning, being conscious of carbon footprint and the fuel used to get around. There are a lot of people who use Link now to get to work instead of driving because it is more practical for them, or it takes less time than getting in their car, and finding a parking spot when they get to their destination, then walking to their office. These people sometimes don’t have a personal bike, but they can still bike to work, or to lunch, or to their favorite after work entertainment spot because of Link. All the fuel they need is whatever they eat that day. As an added bonus, they don’t have to worry about their bike being locked up outside being rained on or tampered with.

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    When we pull our numbers, we see big rises in the amount of trips taken during rush hour in the morning, rush hour in the evening, and at lunch time. According to our surveys in the past years, about a third of these trips would have otherwise been taken by personal car, so Link is having an impact. We do get to see some numbers that we really enjoy throwing around. We know these numbers are estimates, but they are fun to look at. Since we opened on May 5, 2015, our riders, have saved an estimated 170,049 Lbs of carbon from going into the air. While doing that, you have burned an estimated 7,151,000 calories! That’s enough calories in 1,845 dozen maple glazed donuts! These numbers are important to understanding how Link is helping to create a more sustainable and healthier community.

    Link Dayton Bike Share Home
    (Photo by Andrew Thompson)

    So here is our challenge as the Link staff to you. Think about small trips you have to make that are two miles or less. If you work downtown, think about your lunch choices or the way that you get to meetings in downtown locations. Do you drive from one side of town to the other? Think about if you can alter those trips with a bicycle, public transportation or walking. Challenge yourself to take a trip by Link bike to go to lunch or to a meeting or to go for a casual ride at some point before or after work. All of these add up to making a more sustainable community for us to enjoy.


    Do you care about living a sustainable life? What do you do to live a more sustainable life? Let us know!


    Looking for a new house? Look no further than Redfin.com! 


  • Exploring public art by Link Bike

    by Chris Buck | Aug 03,2017

    One of the aspects of riding bikes I love the most is being able to enjoy my surroundings more. It is hard to appreciate everything that is around you when you are sealed in your own little steel and glass bubble. Hopping on a bike and riding it forces me to become more aware of my surroundings. One of the first things I noticed when I started riding my bike around downtown Dayton years ago was the amount of public art in downtown. I get really excited when I see a new (or new to me) painting available for the public to enjoy. It can be anything from some of the paintings listed below to the 12 inch cat stencil in the Oregon District that has been there for years that can make a ride more enjoyable. Downtown Dayton houses many amazing artists, and through some programs and partnerships, the community is given the opportunity to see the work of these amazing people. All of the art listed below is easily accessible by Link Bike. There is so much more art than I have listed here, these are just a few of my favorites. Jump on a Link Bike soon and go on an art crawl, take some alleys and side streets, and see what you can find. 


    1.The mural of the African American Woman holding books Morris Howard on Fifth. This mural is part of a program presented by the Downtown Dayton Partnership. More information can be found here: http://www.downtowndayton.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=350
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    2.Ever wonder about the big yellow sculpture situated between Patterson and St Clair street but never enough to do a quick Google search? It is called Fluid Dynamics. It was created for that particular spot by artist Jon Barlow Hudson to represent the artist’s interpretation of the flow of nature.
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    3. Just out the back of Ghostlight Coffee, see the colorful foxes that cover the wall of the neighboring building. While you are there, stop into Ghostlight for some coffee or espresso and ask them why they no longer have glazed croissants… seriously.
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    4. Keeping a quiet watch over downtown Dayton is Leo the Lion. Leo has been in his spot outside of the Dayton Art Institute since 1955. Before that, Leo sat outside Steele High School on the corner of Main and Monument Street. Word on the street is there is some pretty great art inside the building as well, so be sure to pop in.
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    5. K-12 & TEJAS Gallery building at 341 S Jefferson St is a must see! This building serves as the creative gateway to downtown. There is plenty of art on the outside of the building to enjoy, from portraits, to painted quotes and sculpture, be sure to take some time to experience it all.
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    6. This sculpture can be found off of Williams Street in the Wright Dunbar neighborhood. The sculpture is by the well known local artist Bing Davis.This piece has been standing in Wright Dunbar for some time now, and is a must see. When you are in Wright Dunbar, make sure to check out the mural going up across from the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historic Park. 
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    7.Back in 2012 then Mayor Gary Leitzell organized the painting of the railway wall behind the 2nd Street Market. This wall is a tapestry of amazing street art, and sitting in front is the giant Dayton painted trailer. It is worth checking out.
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    8. This one is a little trickier to find, but it is worth getting your picture taken at. This Dayton Inspires mural is at the Cannery Lofts, actually in the walkway between the buildings. We love the industrial feel of this painting by the Mural Machine. It can be a little tricky to get a shot with all of the painting and yourself in there, so be creative!
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    9. The mural along the north bank of the Great Miami River across the river from RiverScape was designed by artist Amy Deal on what used to be a boring gray wall. This 1,000 foot mural celebrates the outdoors with a variety of cyclists, runners, kayakers and wildlife. Enjoy the view from RiverScape, or get closer by taking a ride on the trail on the north side of the river.
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    10. Of course, we have to mention the Culture Bikes that were designed by local artists in 2016. These 5 bikes represent different cultures that make up the Miami Valley. They are still in operation in the Link fleet. Be on the lookout for these bikes! 
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    11. The mural on the side of Toxic Brewery in the Oregon District has become a fixture of the neighborhood since it was painted. We can’t imagine the Oregon without it. It did come under some heat last year, but residents and visitors petitioned to save this wonderful painting. Stop into Toxic to enjoy a brew and some art! 
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    Some of these we do not know all the information about, so if you have any info on some of this art, let us know.


  • Linking with coffee

    by Chris | Jul 20,2017


    A question we hear very frequently is how to ride the Link Bikes with a cup of coffee. We may not have all the answers, but we have a few tips and tricks that will help you get your coffee from Point A to Point B.

    The best way we have found to transport your coffee is with a reusable coffee mug. Now, there are many different variations of reusable coffee mugs, with many different types of closures. In a pinch, a coffee mug with a lid and an open drinking hole will certainly move your coffee, but any small bump will lead to some unwanted spillage. We recommend using a mug with a seal-able lid to avoid any coffee getting out and all over you and the bike. There are different types of seals that you may use as well. Here are a few of our staff's favorites.

    Chris likes the twist seal. “With the twist, I can tighten it as tight as I want. This gives me a little more peace of mind when I toss it in my bag. I know a puddle of coffee won’t be waiting for me when I open the bag”

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    Emmy likes the snap lid. “This lid is easy and quick to get open and close back up again. I can reach into the front basket, get my coffee and take a quick drink at a stop light, just  as if it was a water bottle.”

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    Laura is a fan of the push button lid. “It’s so easy! You just push it. I like that it closes automatically after I release the button.”

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    Once you have found your mug of choice, you need to figure out the best way to carry it. Link Bikes are all equipped with baskets on the front and rear of the bikes. The front basket provides a great place to put your coffee cup, and have it be mostly secure. There are a couple of downsides to the basket though. It is metal, so it can scratch your mug and any stickers you may have on it. Also, a big enough bump may send your mug soaring into the air.
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    If you are carrying a bag, you can also put your travel mug into your bag, and either put your bag in one of the baskets, or if it is a backpack, carry it on your back. Before you do this though, make sure there is no leaks in your mug.

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    But what if I don’t have a travel mug, or I forgot it at home? Well, you are in a bit of a predicament then. Don’t fear, we do have an idea that is… workable… When you get your to-go coffee cup and lid, grab a few extra napkins. Remove the lid from the cup, and place the napkins over the top, then put the lid back on over the napkins. It is a good idea to drink a bit of your coffee before putting the napkins on. When you put the cup in the basket, make sure the drinking hole is facing to the front. Since there is a slope in the basket, this will help keep as much of the beverage in the cup. The napkins creates a layer of absorption for any coffee that may splash up while you are riding.  This trick is best used for short rides, since the napkin will get wet and eventually will fall apart. This is not the prettiest way to transport your coffee, or the best, but it could work if the situation calls for it. We do not recommend going over any large bumps using this method.

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    An even better idea if you don’t have your travel mug with you, is just to drink your coffee at the coffee shop. Relax and enjoy your coffee and read the paper, or strike up a conversation with someone. Some places have outdoor seating so you can enjoy your coffee while being outside. 

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    What is your favorite way to carry your coffee? Let us know! What other questions do you have that you want us to explore?


    Looking for a place to get coffee close to a Link Station? Check out these fine options:


    Press Coffee Bar

    257 Wayne Ave

    Closest Link Station: Oregon District E


    Ghostlight Coffee

    1202 Wayne Ave

    Closest Link Station: Historic South Park

    Boston Stoker Coffee Co.

    34 W Second St

    Closest Link Station: Courthouse Square


    The Ohio Coffee Co.

    1 S Main St

    Closest Link Station: Wright Stop Plaza


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