Chicago to get a large-scale bike-sharing program | Bleader

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Chicago to get a large-scale bike-sharing program

Posted By on 09.21.11 at 04:45 PM

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Chicago Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein announced today that Chicago will implement a large-scale bicycle-sharing program next year, the Sun-Times reports. The plan is to have 3,000 bikes available from 300 docking stations around the city by next summer, and then add another 2,000 bikes and 200 stations over the next two years. Members would get free use of the bikes for the first 30 minutes, then be charged a rental fee; the focus of the program is short trips around the city.

Chicago's only existing bike-share program, B-Cycle, launched last summer, but it only has six stations and is mostly used by tourists. The new program is much broader in scope, and more likely to be useful to locals. A Tribune article notes that the docking stations will be solar powered and spaced about a quarter-mile apart in densely populated areas. Federal grants will pay for the initial costs of the bikes and the stations, after which the city will hire a vendor to operate the program, which is expected to be self-sustaining.

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