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Next summer, Columbus will see the launch of its first bike share network with over 300 bikes parked at 30 locations in Downtown and nearby neighborhoods. Users of the system will be able to visit any of the stations, borrow a bike to ride and return it to any of the stations.

“BikeShare is a low-cost, 24-hour transit system,” said Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman. “We’ve taken big steps toward making Columbus one of the best biking cities in the nation, and I’m excited to add bike sharing to the mix.”

Portland-based Alta Bicycle Share has been selected to bring the system to Columbus in June 2013. The system will utilize an automated swipe card system that will feature single-day uses, three-day passes and yearly memberships. The cards can be purchased at stations or online.

“This program is a fabulous addition for Downtown, and I have no doubt we will see a significant increase in bicycle traffic,” said Cleve Ricksecker, executive director of the Capital Crossroads and the Discovery Special Improvement Districts. “Columbus BikeShare will be a big amenity not only for visitors to Columbus, but for Downtown employees and residents. “

The 300 bikes that will be a part of the system are three-speed models designed for users over the age of 18. Bikes feature safety lights, a basket for hauling goods, and components to prevent theft. A maintenance team will repair broken bikes and redistribute them to stations throughout the city.

Alta Bicycle Share operates similar systems in Boston, Washington DC and Melbourne, with new systems also rolling out this coming spring in New York City and Portland.

Pricing structures have not yet been announced in Columbus, but the existing systems in Boston and DC charge $5-$7 per day, $12-$15 for a three-day pass, or $75-$85 for annual memberships. Once a pass has been purchased, the costs are then broken down based on time ridden. Any trip under 30 minutes from station to station is free, followed by charges broken down by half-hourly increments.

Columbus City Council is expected to approve legislation on Monday authorizing a one time expenditure of $2.2 million to purchase the bikes, stations and other equipment that will be operated by Alta.

Station locations will be decided this fall through resident and business input, while initial station locations will be centered near Downtown area attractions and employment centers. A map of proposed approximate locations can be found below.

To read more about the concept of bike share systems, click here: Big Ideas: Trending Cycles.

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The Dispatch
Bike boxes’ aim to keep cyclists safe
Saturday, October 11, 2008
BY TIM DOULIN

Part of one of the most popular Columbus routes for bicyclists is being upgraded to include pavement markings at a key intersection that will help bikes avoid collisions with turning vehicles.

The so-called “bike boxes,” pavement markings in the shape of a box, are to be installed next year on Milton Avenue on both sides of the intersection at W. North Broadway.

When the traffic signal is red, bicyclists will be allowed to ride past stopped vehicles on Milton to wait in the box at the head of the line until the light changes.

“The bike box gives bicyclists the right of way at the intersection,” said Mary Carran Webster, Columbus assistant public service director.

Sensors will be installed in the pavement to detect when a bike is there and trip the traffic signal. Currently, bicyclists use a pedestrian push button to change the signal.

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Completing the cycle
The Alive
By Chris DeVille
May 22, 2008

Columbus residents have plenty of reasons to get on a bike. The city has been promoting its Commit To Be Fit initiative for years. Environmental consciousness is on the rise. So are gas prices. In a car-dominated city, alternative modes of transportation are on the brain.

Last year the city decided to draft a plan to make biking safer and easier for novices and experienced riders alike. They hired Alta, a nationally known group on the cutting edge of bike-focused urban planning. The move caught the attention of Bicycling magazine, which recognized Columbus in the June issue’s “Best Cities for Cycling” feature as one of “Five for the Future.”

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Pedal pushers
The Alive
By Brittany Kress
May 22, 2008

Cycling through High Street traffic while pulling two adults in a carriage on wheels isn’t as easy as it sounds. Oh, right. It doesn’t sound easy.

But a month into business for Columbus’ startup foot-powered pedicab service, people are into it, with drivers excited about getting paid to get fit and riders interested in supporting a green business.

ETC Pedicabs is a Downtown-centric service that kicked off at the beginning of the month and operates whenever Mike Sorboro’s loose association of drivers wants to troll the area — usually on nights and weekends.

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