Ever wanted to bike Detroit, or just bike from work to a hot new lunch spot and back again without having to deal with the hassle of owning a bike? Your wish will come true soon.
Detroit will get more $1 million to launch a public bike share program, possibly in the spring of 2016.
Detroit’s funding comes form the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, which is also funding 13 other transportation projects around Metro Detroit. In total, SEMCOG is planning on spending over $6.4 million on these projects.
“While these are 14 independent projects, they’re part of connecting our region through a system of trails and bike paths. These are quality-of-life projects that impact us all,” said Kathleen Lomako, SEMCOG’s executive director.
The Detroit bike share program will probably start with 350 bicycles at 35 stations around the greater downtown area. Although system details won’t be finalized until after a vendor is selected, users will likely be able to pay at the individual stations for daily or annual passes.
The bikes are intended for short-distance trips to help keep them in circulation. Stations located near transit stops would help encourage people who don’t normally ride to give bicycling a try.
Lisa Nuszkowski, executive director of Detroit Bike Share for the Downtown Detroit Partnership has an interesting view on bicycling.
“I kind of view it as the gateway drug for biking and healthier living in general.”
Nuszkowski has been hard at work over the past few years to develop Detroit’s bike sharing program. Before her position as executive director of Detroit Bike Share, she worked with Wayne State University and a team of consultants to determine the viability of bike sharing in Detroit.
Detroit seems ripe for a bike share program, and with the additional funds from SEMCOG, the city may see a new way to get around by 2016.