Raleigh gets rolling with bike share program
Posted March 19
Updated March 20
Raleigh, N.C. — Raleigh has agreed to launch a bike rental program in the next two years – a first for the City of Oaks.
The city will install 30 stations for bikes at various locations downtown and at five local university campuses. In all, 300 bikes will be available.
“Having more bikes on the street helps us to sell the idea of bicycling as a form of transportation for people,” said Susan Wilson, BikeRaleigh bicycle & pedestrian program manager.
BikeRaleigh is the main organization behind the bike share, first proposed back in 2011. The group’s 2014 feasibility study showed the city that implementing bike share in Raleigh is possible and achievable.
“It helps with economic development. It helps with transportation, tourism. There’s just so many reasons that it benefits the city, “ said Wilson.
The council approved bike share with a 7-1 vote last Tuesday. During the meeting Council Member Kay Crowder reiterated her concerns about the program.
“We can do more with $653,000 than bike share," she said. "We need to be a city of values, and all people need to share in it. This needs to be a city for all people and that is our job as councilors to make sure it is,” said Crowder.
However, for bicyclists like Evan Brigham, a bike share program was long overdue.
“I’m excited about the bike shares,” he said.
Brigham is an active member of the large bicycling community in Raleigh. His bicycle is his main mode of transportation.
“It’s really just a tool to get around, to be honest. It’s good for my health. I don’t have to go the gym. I just ride my bike every day,” he said.
The bike share will be free for users for the first half hour, and then it will cost $4 for every additional 30 minutes. The half-hour charges are halved, to $2 per 30 minutes, for college students.
The program could launch as soon as fall of next year.
Kay Angrum is a senior Broadcast & Digital Journalism major at the University of Southern California where she reports for Annenberg TV News. Kay shoots, writes and edits her own stories and freelances as a reporter/producer for the Associated Press in Los Angeles.