Ann Arbor Bike Share Program Prepares To Launch

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ANN ARBOR (WWJ) – The Ann Arbor City Council last week approved a required local match of a federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Grant, paving the way for the local nonprofit Clean Energy Coalition to launch a bike sharing program for Ann Arbor, beginning in April.

The program, which will initially serve downtown Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan’s campus, is anticipated to include 125 bikes at 14 stations.

Ann Arbor’s bike share program is a partnership between Clean Energy Coalition, the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority, Ann Arbor city government and UM.

The program is funded with $750,000 in capital funding and $800,000 in operational funding for a three-year trial. CEC, in partnership with TheRide, secured $600,000 of federal CMAQ funds for capital expenditures in August 2012 for capital expenditures in
fall 2013.

The required local capital match of $150,000 was authorized by Ann Arbor City Council Aug. 8.

UM has pledged to provide up to $200,000 per year for three years to support program operations. The remaining $200,000 in operational funding will be collected from membership fees and sponsorships.

Ann Arbor’s bike share program will use fully automated B-cycle stations and bikes.

Adults, age 18 and over, will be able to sign up as members at station kiosks or online. Memberships will be available on a 24-hour, 7-day, or annual basis. Once registered, members can check out a bike, ride to a destination, and return the bike to any of 14 stations.

Unlike bike rental programs, bike share is intended to provide quick, short trips. Members may use bikes for up to 30 minutes for free; usage fees will be incurred for rides longer than 30 minutes.

B-cycle systems are operating in 18 bike share programs across the United States, including Boulder, Colo. and Madison, Wis. Members of Ann Arbor’s bike share program will be able to access bikes in any B-cycle system for no additional membership cost.

Visit http://www.bcycle.com for more information.

Program planning continues in fall 2013 to finalize station locations, develop marketing and communication materials, and build member services.

Memberships will be available for purchase in late 2013 or early 2014, and pricing is expected to match rates at other bike share programs across the country.

Residents are encouraged to email bikeshare@cec-mi.org with any suggestions or questions, and to visit http://www.cec-mi.org/bikeshare for more information.

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