A bike-sharing program is coming to Louisville! On Tuesday, December 16, 2014, a bike-share public meeting was held and everyone was invited to talk about the idea, discuss potential station locations and give suggestions for locations. The meeting took place at the Urban Design Studio, 507 S 3rd Street.
What is bike-sharing?
Bike-sharing is “an innovative transportation program, ideal for short distance point-to-point trips.” The goal of this program is to provide users the “ability to pick up a bicycle at any self-serve bike station and return it to any other station location within the system’s service area.” The bike-sharing concept started in 2008 when Washington, D.C. launched “SmartBike.” This paved the way for bike-sharing programs to pop up in the United States. However, it wasn’t until 2013 that bike-sharing was brought into the mainstream after Citi Bike was launched in New York.
According to Metrobike.net, the number of bike-share services worldwide has experienced a 700% growth from December 2007 to December 2012 (from only 62 to 497). Today, there are more than 700 bike-sharing programs worldwide, offering around 1 million public bicycles. In the U.S., bike-sharing is available in 40 cities, including Indianapolis. By the end of 2014, about 70 cities and 40,000 public bicycles rolled out all across North America.
Why does Louisville need a bike-share program?
Jackie Green, a cycling advocate, said a bike-sharing program would make for a better Louisville. This is because it would lead to having more bicycles on the streets, more activities, slower traffic, more two-way streets, better public transit and smarter land use. Bike-sharing is actually not new in Louisville. Presently, there is Louisville B-cycle, a next-next-generation bike-sharing program. This, however, is only available for Humana associates. According to Humana, more than 3,000 of its downtown employees have used the bikes at some point.
To make bike-sharing available to all Louisville residents, the city is finalizing its bike-share business plan. Louisville plans to invest $1.63 million to set up stations in and around downtown. Each station will have 10 or more two-wheelers. People can pay $3 for a single use of 30 minutes or $7 for unlimited trips not exceeding 60 minutes within a 24-hour period. These prices are only estimated and may change. Louisville has chosen CycleHop, a Miami Beach, Florida company, to operate the city’s bike-sharing program. CycleHop is known for operating systems in other U.S. states such as Florida, Arizona, Georgia and California.
When will Louisville’s bike-sharing program start?
The program is expected to take place as early as next summer, 2015.
As a Kentucky Bicycle Accident Attorney, I’m glad that Louisville is creating a bike-sharing program. Louisville already created more bike lanes, which helps keep cyclists safe. Now, with the bike-sharing program, it will make Louisville a better place to bike, and hopefully it will help decrease bicycle accidents.