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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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Downtown is gaining approximately 325 new bike parking spaces Downtown as the installation of six bike shelters, bike lockers, indoor bike parking rooms and 70 bike racks is completed. The project was made possible through a federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant awarded to the city of Columbus through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The project is being executed through a partnership between the City of Columbus and Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District.

“Federal recovery funding has helped our city emerge from the recession and is now assisting our efforts to become one of the best bike cities in the nation,” said Mayor Michael B. Coleman. “These bike shelters and other bike parking encourage more people to ride bikes and make us a greener and healthier city.”

The six new bike shelters are located on the sidewalks near the following intersections:

  • East Long Street and North Front Street
  • North High Street and Hickory Street
  • East Broad Street and North 3rd Street
  • East Broad Street and 4th Street
  • South High Street and East State Street
  • West Mound Street and South Front Street

Each shelter can park 18 bikes covered by a “green roof” topped with drought-tolerant plants that absorb rainwater. The indoor bike rooms are located at the City of Columbus and Franklin County offices. Additional bike racks have been placed strategically throughout all of Downtown. The city of Columbus provided Capital Crossroads with $490,000 to manage the installation of the entire project.

“The bicycle facilities give downtown employees another amenity. We anticipate a large increase in bicycle commuting over the next several years,” said Cleve Ricksecker, Executive Director of Capital Crossroads. “Downtown’s central location and street grid allow it accommodate employers who want to give their employees travel options.”

More information about the Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District can be found online at DowntownColumbus.com.

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MORPC recently released their Bike Users Map for 2010, which only contains a few updates from last year. It provides an overlay of our road system that shows which roads are safer than others for bike commuters and provides a map of trails and bike paths as well.

You can view it here: http://www.morpc.org/bikemaps

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A group of Short North Businesses including Tigertree, Sandbox, and Paradise Garage jointly announced today that they’re launching the first ever bikeshare program for Columbus: EveryoneBikes. Ten brand new Africa Bikes will be available as of 5pm today for riders to borrow for errands, tours, exercise and other types of short trips around the city.

Their goal is to soon have fifty bikes available throughout Downtown, the Arena District, and the Short North neighborhoods. The bikes will be on display in front of Tigertree during tomorrow’s Gallery Hop.

The group chose to stock their fleet with Africa Bikes not only because of their ease of use, but also due to their ethical business practices. “For every two bikes sold, one bike is provided to an aide worker in Africa which allows to make a difference not only here Central Ohio, but also around the world.” says David Hunegnaw of Sandbox.

EveryoneBikes also aims to help further the “green” transformation taking place in Columbus by providing an alternative transportation alternative for locals. “This innovative approach to Bikeshare will give residents and visitors an option to use a carbon-neutral mode of transportation to navigate our city” says Josh Quinn, owner of Tigertree.

More information can be found online at EveryoneBikes.org.

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