Ann Arbor, Mich., to launch bike sharing program
A bike share program will launch in Ann Arbor, Michigan, by next April after winning city council approval on August 8, according to Michigan Radio.
The plan is to site 14 bike racks of bikes throughout downtown with the bikes available from April through November for $5 daily, $20 a week or $60 for annual memberships.
The city is contracting with B-cycle, which runs bike share programs in other college towns, including Madison, Wisconsin.
The program will be funded by the city (contributing $125,000 for the first year and $25,000 the second year), the University of Michigan (pledging $600,000) and the Clean Energy Coalition (which secured a $600,000 federal grant).
Eli Cooper of the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority told Michigan Radio the program “will promote our ongoing philosophy, which is to create an environment and a culture to support nonmotorized transportation, meaning bicycling and walking.”
That’s what the much bigger bike sharing program in the Twin Cities is starting to do. Nice Ride Minnesota had 4,000 annual members and more than 40,000 unique 24-hour subscribers in its fourth year of operation, according to Minnpost.com. There’s still a lot of room for growth and potential to change the transportation mode share in the metro area where more than three million people live.
Most Nice Ride users are 25 to 40 years old, and 44 percent of the total are women. The latter fact is encouraging as women took only 24 percent of the nearly 4 billion U.S. bicycle trips reported in 2009, according to Minnpost.com.