Popular bikeshare program coming to Indy

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INDIANAPOLIS — Bikeshare, an urban bicycle sharing program gaining popularity nationwide, is coming to Indianapolis next year.

The Board of Public Works recently approved the $1 million contract to build the infrastructure for the program, which received its funds from a Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) grant through the Federal Highway Administration.

“Starting in May 2014, about 300 bicycles will be stationed in 25 spots along the Indianapolis Cultural Trail,” said ICT Inc. Executive Director Kären Haley.

“Indianapolis has been mentioned as a great place to see by the seat of your bike,” Haley said.  “The trail is a big part of what makes it an easy way to get around Indianapolis, so we just think it’s a natural fit for all of the new bicycling initiatives around town.”

Bikeshare allows residents and visitors alike to pick up a bicycle at one station and use it as long as they would like before dropping it off at that or another station.  Other cities charge $5 to $9 per day or $60 to $85 per year, Haley said, and the Indianapolis rates will likely fall into those ranges.

Haley said public input will be important in deciding where to put the 25 bikeshare stations downtown.  Two public meetings are scheduled, both at The Platform at 202 E. Market St. in Indianapolis:

  • Thursday, June 27 from 12:30-2:30 p.m. (Presentation at 1 p.m.)
  • Wednesday, July 10 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. (Presentation at 6 p.m.)

“It’s really becoming the next thing for cities to have as far as transportation options for their residents and their visitors,” Haley said.

Reaction to the news has been positive.

“I think it’s great,” said resident Whitney Fields. “I’m from Kentucky originally and a lot of people down there have gotten wind of the bike paths and the cultural trail up here.  So they’re doing something right.”

Resident Nate Riecke agrees.

“Seems like a lot of money, but it’s a good idea to get people out and active using the [Cultural Trail that] they just spent a lot of money on, so I think it’s a good idea.”

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