Saturday, September 14, 2013

Bike-Share coming to Cincinnati.

Two private organizations and the city of Cincinnati want to place 21 bike share stations with 10 bicycles each in downtown and Over-the-Rhine by the spring of 2014.

The program, which is similar to one in Chicago and other large cities, would be automated. Bicycles could be rented and returned to any of the stations in the network. The city and nonprofit organizations Green Umbrella and Leadership Cincinnati hope to eventually expand the program to Uptown and Northern Kentucky.

The program’s aim is to provide an affordable mobility option for short trips within the city.

The nonprofit organization — Cincy Bike Share Inc. — that has been created to oversee the program is looking for its first executive director.

A subcontractor, B-Cycle LLC, hired by Cincy Bike Share will select sites for the station, obtain permits, buy bicycles and the automated stations, install the stations, market the program and manage operations. B-Cycle operates in 25 other U.S. cities.

Green Umbrella is managing the project while Cincy Bike Share awaits approval by the IRS for its tax-exempt status and the appointment of a board of directors. Leaders of the project believe private money will pay for $1.2 million in capital costs and start-up fees, while user fees, sponsorships and memberships will cover $450,000 in estimated operating costs.

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