Leaving the Statehouse for lunch at the North Market? How about dipping out of the Main Library to read at Bicentennial Park? Columbus hopes you'll ditch your four wheels and an engine for two wheels and a set of pedals. The city has decided where its 30 CoGo bike-share locations will go when it launches the program this month.
Leaving the Statehouse for lunch at the North Market? How about dipping out of the Main Library to read at Bicentennial Park?
Columbus hopes you’ll ditch your four wheels and an engine for two wheels and a set of pedals.
The city has decided where its 30 CoGo bike-share locations will go when it launches the program this month.
Kiosks will be posted as far north as the intersection of High Street and 2nd Avenue and as far south as Schiller Park. The program will have stations in the Arena District, at COSI, and at the Main Library and the Livingston Park branch.
The system will have 300 bikes spread across the stations, said Heather Bowden, general manager of CoGo Bike Share.
“I have meetings at City Hall and around Downtown, and oftentimes I’ll walk to the Commons,” said Rick Wolfe, the executive director of the North Market. “Now, I’ll be able to walk out there, put my credit card in there, and grab a bike to go to my meeting.”
On Wednesday, the city will launch its bike-share website, www.cogobikeshare.com, where users will be able to buy annual passes for $75. Daily passes will be available at each kiosk for $6 using a credit card.
Those with annual passes will have a key fob that lets them bypass the payment kiosks. Daily users will be given a code to punch into any station in the city and receive a bike.
The day pass gives riders free rein for 24 hours, but they still have to dock the bikes every 30 minutes. Go over that time limit, and you’ll be charged another $3 for every half-hour.
“We want as many people to be able to access the system as we can,” Bowden said. “We need to make sure there are bikes available for everyone to use it.”
Kiosks are still being built and will be rolled out soon. Bowden said the program is scheduled to go live by the end of July. Portland-based Alta Bicycle Share will operate the bike share and will work with local cycling groups to educate the public on how it works.
“Our goal is to get people on bicycles. Making them readily available for the everyday is a huge leap forward,” said Jody Dzuranin of Consider Biking, which promotes cycling.
That leap will cost the city. It has a $2.3 million contract with Alta that includes equipment purchases.
Making Columbus more bike-friendly has been a priority under Mayor Michael B. Coleman. This year, the city plans to make more than $5 million in infrastructure upgrades aimed at bicycles and is promoting an awareness campaign for drivers and cyclists.
Coleman will lead the “Mayor’s Twilight Ride” at 6:30 p.m. today starting at COSI, 333 W. Broad St. Riders can go 10 miles or 25 miles. CoGo bicycles will be on hand.
“I think Columbus is just ready for something new and innovative like this,” Bowden said. “We want to be called a big city, and this gets us there.”