A new bike sharing program is in the works for Pittsburgh, a service that will enhance the city's ever-growing bicycle culture.
The 500-bike system planned for Pittsburgh
is expected to debut in summer 2014. The service will give users unlimited "free" 30 to 60 minute rides through annual or 24-hour memberships. Bikes, which are available 24/7, can be returned to any of the 50 solar-powered stations in the system.
Bike Pittsburgh's Scott Bricker says the service will be a game changer for cycling in the city, and will help to mainstream bikes as a mode of transportation. "It'll be much easier to integrate bicycling into daily life for regular people," he says.
A preliminary map of potential bike-share stations
shows locations throughout Downtown and Oakland, as well as in the East End, North Side, and South Side.
Bike sharing systems typically involve making bicycles available throughout a city, with corrals located at strategic transportation centers. They allow users to ride without owning a bike, and are ideal for visitors as well as residents making quick one-way trips.
The Pittsburgh Bike Share Partnership (PBSP), a newly formed non-profit, announced plans for the system on Monday during an event at Bakery Square. At that facility a smaller-scale bike-share program is available to commuters between Carnegie Mellon University and Google.
A $1.6 million grant from the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program will help fund the $4 million bike share project.
Bike share programs already exist in over 200 cities worldwide, including Paris, with 20,000 bicycles, and the Hangzhou Public Bicycle program in China, which at 66,500 bicycles is the largest in the world. And several American cities, including Denver, Minneapolis, D.C., Boston, and Miami Beach have also launched bike shares.
PBSP is an alliance of the City of Pittsburgh, Bike Pittsburgh, and Walnut Capital.
Two upcoming public information sessions will allow residents to learn more about the proposed system: 6 p.m., Tuesday, April 2nd at CMU, McKenna-Peter-Wright Rooms; and 12 p.m., Wednesday, April 3, 2013, at Point Park University’s Lawrence Hall Ballroom, 201 Wood Street.
Writer: Andrew Moore
Source: Scott Bricker