NEW ORLEANS — Mayor LaToya Cantrell today issued the following statement on the announcement of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana as the title sponsor for the return of a bikeshare program to New Orleans:
“Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s continued dedication to the bikeshare program is a vital component to ensuring as much continuity as possible as we work to bring the program back into service. We appreciate their decision to sponsor Blue Bikes and their partnership to improve the health of our residents,” said Mayor Cantrell.
Blue Krewe and the City of New Orleans announced today that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana will remain the title sponsor of New Orleans’ bikeshare program. The insurer was the title sponsor of the original Blue Bikes program, which launched in 2017. With this commitment, when bikeshare resumes on Crescent City streets later this year, the program will again be called Blue Bikes. “We’ve remained committed to Blue Bikes because we know from our experience that this program is successful and fills a vital need in New Orleans,” said Rod Teamer, Blue Cross director of Diversity Program and Business Development. “Our mission is to improve the health and lives of Louisianians, and we take tremendous pride in sponsoring an alternative, healthy mode of transportation for New Orleans residents, visitors and tourists.”
When the former program operator, Lime, ended bike share in New Orleans in 2020, this ended Blue Cross’ original sponsorship commitment. Now, Blue Krewe has entered into a new five-year sponsorship agreement with Blue Cross. “It is heartening to see the coalition coming together supporting this vision for the future of New Orleans, said Geoff Coats, the CEO of Blue Krewe. “In addition to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana returning as the primary sponsor, Blue Krewe recently received a donation from Uber of the existing Blue Bikes racks. This generous donation allows for a quicker return of bikeshare and ensures that even more resources can be devoted to achieving our equity and sustainability goals.”
“We look forward to seeing Blue Bikes rolling through New Orleans again,” said Dan Wagner, Blue Cross regional director for New Orleans. “Ridership dramatically increased throughout the first two years of the program because New Orleanians relied on Blue Bikes to get to work, to healthcare appointments, to the grocery store, for exercise or as their primary mode of transportation. With the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen bikeshare take off in other markets because people feel more comfortable socially distancing with this form of transportation. We are proud we can again offer this option in New Orleans, and we look forward to working with the City of New Orleans, Blue Krewe and our local partners to make it an even bigger success.”
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