Detroit’s the Motor City, but if fans of pedal power have their way and current trends keep it, we could soon be Bike City.
In recent years, the City of Detroit has seen an influx of cyclists. Whether riding to and from work, crusing the Dequindre Cut, or enjoying special cycling events like the Slow Roll or Tour de Troit, approximately 250 bikes pass through the greater downtown area on a typical weekday afternoon, according to a study by the Hudson-Webber Foundation.
Adding to the momentum of the cycling culture in Detroit is Monday morning’s announcement that Detroit will soon join over 70 cities across the United States by offering the city’s first ever bike share program, set to launch 2016.
The deal was made possible through a partnership between the Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP), Henry Ford Health System/Health Alliance Plan (Henry Ford/HAP), and the City of Detroit’s Department of Transportation (DDOT).
Henry Ford/HAP, the title sponsor of the system, has pledged a three year financial commitment to help launch and operate the bike share system. Likewise, DDOT collaborated with DDP to secure federal grant funding to purchase the bike share stations, and the two organizations will also work together to secure an equipment provider and operator for the system.
“I am thrilled to announce these major partners,” said Lisa Nuszkowski, Executive Director of Detroit Bike Share at DDP. “The overall level of interest and support in bringing bike share to Detroit has been incredibly encouraging, and we’re looking forward to exploring how we can use this new transportation option to connect Detroiters to economic opportunity and increase the number of choices people have to get around.”
The first phase of the program aims to provide approximately 350 bikes and 35 stations throughout greater downtown Detroit, and will cost around $1 million to operate annually. The system is designed to facilitate short distance trips, and to maximize use of Detroit’s growing network of over 170 miles of bike lanes and greenways as another cleaner transit option.
“We are so excited to be a key player in bringing a bike share program to the city of Detroit. This is a unique partnership that will have a very positive impact on the health and wellness of our community, and provides another meaningful opportunity for Henry Ford Health System to enhance the cultural and economic future of our great City,” said Nancy Schlichting, CEO, Henry Ford Health System.
DDP is seeking additional sponsors and partners to launch bike share in 2016. For more information, please contact Lisa Nuszkowski
Additionally, a request for Proposals for an equipment provider and system operations will be released by the City of Detroit later this month.