Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Some bike sharing action, Midwest style

So both Minneapolis is doing it and Chicago is planning to do it. Pretty sweet I say. I know it would never work in Fort Wayne but I still think that it is a wonderful idea for places that have the density and mix of uses within bike-able distance.

'Nice Ride' bike sharing program gets rolling today in Minneapolis
By Joe Kimball | Published Thu, Jun 10 2010 10:26 am

A new bike-sharing program kicks off today in Minneapolis, when Nice Ride begins offering greenish and blue bikes for short jaunts around the city.

Hundreds of the bikes are available at 60 kiosks around the downtown Minneapolis area through the nonprofit program. To ride you need a subscription, available online. The cost ranges from $5 for 24 hours to $60 a year. Then the first half hour of riding is always free; the next half hour costs $1.50, and the next half hour is $3. Riders use a credit card to pay at the kiosk pay station.

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And now, the Chicago part

New bike program is sharing on two wheels

Leonor Vivanco

Think of it as an I-GO for bikes.
Chicago B-cycle will be the city's first bike-sharing system for residents when it launches in July with 100 bikes at six stations throughout Chicago. It's a program that was unveiled at the Bike to Work rally Friday at Daley Plaza. Mayor Daley has been interested in bike-sharing since he saw it in Paris in 2007. Loyola University has a similar program for its students.

"The idea was to bring European-style bike-sharing to the United States. Bike-sharing is an alternative form of urban transportation," said Bob Burns, president of B-cycle.

B-cycle, a partnership of Humana, Trek Bicycle and ad agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky and owned and operated by Bike & Roll Chicago, launched Denver's citywide bike-sharing program with 500 bicycles on Earth Day in April. So far, there have been more than 18,000 rides through the program, Burns said.

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