Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Bike sharing in Tampa is almost ready to roll

Posted By on Tue, Jan 21, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Coast Bike Share rental locations will be available at dozens of hubs throughout Downtown Tampa, Ybor City and Hyde Park, including the Tampa Riverwalk.
  • Courtesy of Tampa Bay Bike Share
  • Coast Bike Share rental locations will be available at dozens of hubs throughout Downtown Tampa, Ybor City and Hyde Park, including the Tampa Riverwalk.

Coast Bike Share is Tampa’s new official bike share program, set to launch this spring with 300 bikes located at dozens of hubs throughout Downtown Tampa, Ybor City and Hyde Park.

Mayor Bob Buckhorn joined officials from Cycle Hop and Social Bicycles this morning at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park to introduce the new Tampa bike sharing program, Coast Bike Share. Proposed locations, sponsorship opportunities and the launch of the website were also discussed.

The name Coast is inspired by the tranquil waters of the Bay and aims to envelop the feelings one gets when riding a bicycle. Whether you’re riding by yourself or with a group, biking makes you feel so young and free. It’s exhilarating.

How will it work? In four simple steps — Reserve, Release, Ride, Return. Riders can book a bike via a mobile app, on the web or at the bike by using its keypad. The rider will then create a 4-digit PIN code that will unlock the bike. Once the PIN code is entered and the bike is released, you are free to ride. Making stops along the way? Just press the “HOLD” button to lock the bike to a rack. To continue riding, just enter the 4-digit PIN. Once riders have finished their excursions, the bikes should get locked up to any of the convenient hub locations. The bikes can also be locked up to a regular bike rack for a small additional fee.

"I am thrilled to launch Coast Bike Share, and I cannot wait until the bikes roll out on the streets in April. Bike sharing programs like ours are an easy, affordable, and healthy mode of transportation," said Mayor Buckhorn. "Coast Bike Share is part of the equation in continuing to attract new jobs and young professionals, who want livable cities with amenities like this that improve their quality of life.”

The opportunity for sponsorship of the bike hub locations by businesses were discussed. This included individual stations, optimal for small businesses in the area as it will attract more customers.

"As a resident of Tampa Bay since 1996. I'm excited to be building this program here in my backyard," said Eric Trull of Coast Bike Share. "It is my goal for Coast to not only transform how we all get around and experience our neighborhoods, but to use it as a vehicle to help build a stronger sense of community.”

The Coast Bike Share program is managed by Cyclehop, a bike share consulting and operations company with 20 years of experience in the cycling industry.

As an avid cyclist, I am thrilled to see a bike sharing program come to Tampa. It’s a healthy, fun and affordable way to cruise around our beautiful city. Not to mention, the weather will be near perfect when the launch of Coast Bike Share takes place this April.

For more information, visit coastbikeshare.com, a very easy to use website.

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