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Bike Share program to start in September
CINCINNATI (Jeff Hirsh) -- Cincinnati leaders unveiled the city's new bike-share program Tuesday, August 12.
The bikes being carefully put together will go in key locations all over town, They are being assembled at a garage in Over-The-Rhine. Cincinnati's bike share program, called Red Bike, has 260 cycles and 35 bike sharing stations in downtown, Over-The-Rhine and Uptown.
Mayor John Cranley unlocked the inaugural bike at the first station, Fountain Square, Tuesday morning. The bike share system will be up and running, or pedaling, in mid-September:
"The concept is simple. For a small fee people can rent a bike, go from one point to another and put it in a station wherever you're going," said Mayor Cranley.
"I will use it. I work downtown and often need to leave the building to go to lunch or an errand around town and to have a bike located near my job will make it easier for me to do that," said Mel McVay of Pleasant Ridge.
Renters get the bike for 30 minutes. Then they have to check in at another station to pay for another 30 or return the bike.
Jason Barron, Bike Share director, said, "The reason for the 30-minute check-in is we want to keep the bikes in the system so others can use them, right? It's a bike share."
Bike share programs have been sweeping the nation. Many have been successful but others, like the bike share program in New York City, turned out to be more expensive and less used than predicted. But the vendor for Cincinnati's program said this program was bike friendly and human friendly.
"Some people see someone on a road bike, full Lycra going down the street. They may get angry that people are in their way. But with something like bicycle sharing you're more than likely to know someone who tried it. 'Oh I liked it, I took it out to dinner,' it humanizes the biker to a lot of people," said Ben Kunde of B-Cycle Vendor.
If people like the bike so much they decide to steal it, think again. You pay for the bike pass with a credit card and if the bike disappears, your card will be charged $1,200, the cost of the bike.
Quite an expensive ride!
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