BCBSNC Launches GO NC! to Support Its Commitment to Building Healthier Communities Across NC

July 12, 2012 1:49 pm

 

  • BCBSNC is investing $4 million over four years in Get Outside North Carolina! (GO NC!) to encourage North Carolinians to get outside, get active and get healthy.
  • Almost 30 percent of adults and more than 18 percent of children in North Carolina are obese. GO NC! is working to reverse this trend by supporting biking and greenway projects.
  • The Charlotte B-cycle bike share system is the first program launched under GO NC!, providing residents, employees and visitors access to 200 shared bicycles at 20 self-service bike stations.
  • Charlotteans and visitors are invited to try Charlotte B-cycle this weekend for free. Stations at Trade and Tryon and at the 7th Street Public Market will be open to the public from 1 p.m. today through 8 p.m. on Sunday, July 15.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) kicks off Get Outside North Carolina! (GO NC!), with the launch of the Charlotte B-cycle bike share system. Charlotte B-cycle, the first bike share program in North Carolina, will make 200 bikes available for rent at 20 stations in Uptown Charlotte. This system is designed for point-to-point transportation.

“The city of Charlotte is already home to a large, bike-friendly community, and the Charlotte B-cycle program will help expand and provide even greater access to biking and outdoor physical activity,” said Brad Wilson, BCBSNC president and CEO. “Every $1 spent building biking trails and walking paths can save about $3 in medical expenses[i]. Through the programs supported by GO NC!, such as Charlotte B-cycle, BCBSNC hopes to improve health and reduce obesity-related medical costs in North Carolina.”

With the launch of Charlotte B-cycle, BCBSNC invites Charlotte citizens and visitors to try out the bikes and stations for free starting Thursday, July 12 at 1 p.m. through Sunday, July 15 at 8 p.m. from the stations at Trade and Tryon and the 7th Street Public Market. All riders must be 18 or older, have identification and a valid credit card.

“We are thrilled to bring bike sharing to City Center Charlotte. This system is a foundational amenity for a great urban place. It will strengthen our transit system by offering broadened mobility across the last mile of the transit station to the desired destination,” said Michael Smith, president and CEO of Charlotte Center City Partners and executive director of CCCP Community Trust. Charlotte B-cycle is part of CCCP Community Trust, a wholly owned subsidiary of Charlotte Center City Partners. Dianna Ward, executive director of Charlotte B-cycle added, “We can’t wait to see more people having fun on bikes in Center City Charlotte. This will offer a quick, inexpensive and healthy way to make impromptu or planned trips.”

Charlotte B-cycle program facts:

  • The program will become the first bike share program in North Carolina and the largest urban system in the southeast.
  • The system will support 200 bikes and 20 stations in Uptown Charlotte and surrounding neighborhoods.
  • Charlotte is joining the ranks of internationally renowned cities like London, Paris and Barcelona, as well as U.S. cities like Denver, Minneapolis, San Antonio and Washington D.C. who currently have large-scale bike share programs providing an added transportation choice for residents and visitors.
  • Charlotte B-cycle is made possible by BCBSNC. Additionally, Carolinas HealthCare System has committed to be the founding sponsor, and Verizon Wireless is the communications sponsor.

“Carolinas HealthCare System is proud to make a long term commitment to this new and exciting opportunity to bring a healthy and sustainable activity to Charlotte,” said Carol Lovin, president of CHS Planning Company. “Our commitment to the health of the communities we serve is central to our core mission, and our participation in the bike share program provides us with a unique opportunity to build on that mission.”

How the Charlotte B-cycle system works:

  • Users elect to become either day or annual members.
  • Daily users pay $8 for a 24-hour membership, which allows them to use the bike for unlimited 30-minute rides. Bikes checked out longer incur $4/30 minute fees.
  • Annual members pay $65 and receive unlimited 30-minute rides for one year.
    • BCBSNC customers are eligible for a 20-percent discount on annual Charlotte B-cycle memberships.
    • Bike share is designed for point-to-point transportation. Members will choose a bike from any self-service docking station, make their short trip and drop off the bike at the station nearest their destination.
    • The bikes feature durable frames and tires, three speeds, a large basket for cargo, an interactive website and mobile application, and safety and security features.

Almost 30 percent of adults and more than 18 percent of children in North Carolina are obese. Through GO NC!, BCBSNC is working to reverse this trend by supporting biking and greenway projects to increase outdoor physical activity. Future efforts will include support for other outdoor initiatives across the state to encourage people to get moving.

Additional planned initiatives under GO NC! include:

North Carolina Museum of Art’s Blue LoopSM:

  • The Blue Loop will complete a network of recreational trails in the Museum Park and connect the Museum to the regional greenway system. It will provide additional options for commuters, bikers, runners, walkers and art-lovers in the Triangle.
  • Construction of the Blue Loop will start September 2012 with an estimated completion date of spring 2013.

Gary Shell Cross-City Trail:

  • BCBSNC funding through GO NC! will complete the final phase of the 15-mile trail that crosses Wilmington from Wade Park to the drawbridge at Wrightsville Beach.
  • Other additions to the trail include mile markers along the entire 15-mile trail and five bicycle fix-it stations, and an annual 5k event that will also take place on the trail.

GO NC! complements Nourishing North Carolina – BCBSNC’s statewide community garden program making local, healthy food more accessible to each of North Carolina’s 100 counties – and supports BCBSNC’s mission to build healthier communities and improve health across the state.

For more information, follow @BCBSNC or join the conversation with the #GONC hashtag on Twitter, or visit www.bcbsnc.com/gonc. To learn more or to purchase a Charlotte B-cycle membership, visit www.charlottebcycle.com.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is a leader in delivering innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.6 million members, including approximately 900,000 served on behalf of other Blue Plans. For 78 years, the company has served its customers by offering health insurance at a competitive price and has served the people of North Carolina through support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina was named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere Institute in 2012. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit BCBSNC online at bcbsnc.com.

About Charlotte B-cycle
Charlotte B-cycle, www.charlottebcycle.com, a program of the CCCP Community Trust, aspires to increase bicycle usage in Charlotte and to decrease vehicle trips, thereby improving health and air quality. Charlotte B-Cycle provides a convenient network of public use bicycles rented at a low cost for short-distance trips.  The system will make biking a more convenient and better integrated part of Charlotte’s transportation system.

About Charlotte Center City Partners
Charlotte Center City Partners (CCCP), www.charlottecentercity.org, is a 501(c ) 4 non-profit that facilitates and promotes the economic, cultural and residential development of the urban core. This is accomplished by providing visioning and leadership through urban planning and economic development, marketing the unique brand of the center city and programming memorable experiences.

About CCCP Community Trust
CCCP Community Trust (CCCPCT) is a 501(c)3 non-profit that provides a platform for city-wide community-building arts, education, sustainability, health and wellness initiatives.

About Carolinas HealthCare System
Carolinas HealthCare System (www.carolinashealthcare.org), one of the nation’s leading and most innovative healthcare organizations, provides a full spectrum of healthcare and wellness programs throughout North and South Carolina. Its diverse network of more than 650 care locations includes academic medical centers, hospitals, healthcare pavilions, physician practices, destination centers, surgical and rehabilitation centers, home health agencies, nursing homes and hospice and palliative care. CHS works to improve and enhance the overall health and wellbeing of its communities through high quality patient care, education and research programs, and numerous collaborative partnerships and initiatives.

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