Atlanta’s bike share program took a big step forward this week after the City Council approved a resolution to begin contract negotiations between the city and vendor CycleHop. It was previously reported that the bike share program would launch this summer, but is now scheduled for Spring 2015
CycleHop presented the city with a proposal to launch and manage the city’s first bike share program at no cost to taxpayers. The company will partner with Social Bikes and two Atlanta firms, Center Forward and Iconologic, to operate the program. The company is looking to attract corporate sponsors and in the coming months plans to meet with communities and businesses to discuss possible bike rental station locations.
In 2012, Mayor Kasim Reed committed to the goal of making bicycling an integral part of daily life for Atlanta residents, workers and visitors by allocating $2.47 million in remaining bond funds to complete several key bicycle projects by 2016. These projects, along with others by the City and its partners, will add 50 miles of multi-use trails, bike lanes, and cycle tracks over the next two years.
“Atlanta will be a leader in the region as we launch an innovative, socially responsible bike share program for citizens and visitors,” said Reed. “Our self-serve, bike rental program promotes my vision to make bikes available to the maximum amount of people in the most cost-efficient manner possible.”
Residents and visitors will have access to rental bikes 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. The GPS-enabled locking system bikes will lock to regular bike racks and those found at hub locations throughout the city.
“Our vision is to have a large bike share system with at least 500 bicycles at 50 stations throughout the city,” said Mike Geisler, Interim Chief Operating Officer. “This program is the latest city initiative designed to augment existing public transportation systems and provide an affordable transportation alternative to driving in the city.”
Social Bicycles is currently launching bike share programs in Phoenix, Tampa, Orlando, Buffalo, San Francisco, and Hamilton, CA. “The SoBi bikes are more affordable and scalable than other technologies, and we hope to quickly spread the program throughout the region,” said Social Bicycles CEO, Ryan Rzepecki.