There's a lot of people who walk and ride a bike to work. There will soon be an easier way for anyone and everyone to do just that. It's through a new bike sharing program and it's going to allow for about 20 rental stations throughout town.
Charlotte B-Cycle will soon be unveiled by Charlotte Center City Partners. This is North Carolina's first bike-sharing program. Tyron and Trade streets as well as the area just outside of the 7th Street Public Market already have their rental bike stations, according to the Charlotte Observer.
Our Charlotte bicycle accident attorneys understand how beneficial a program like this can be to our city. We also recognize the problems and the risks for accidents that accompany these bike-sharing programs across the country. We're hoping that authorities continue to keep safety as a top priority and help to keep our cyclists safe. With more bicyclists on our roadways, you can only expect an increase in the number of accidents.
The bike-sharing program is expected to launch in late July or in early August.
Through the new program, there will be about 200 bicycles that will be available for residents and visitors to rent at stations that will be located throughout the city, focusing on the uptown area as well as in SouthEnd. Adults will be able to purchase a day-long or a yearly membership. The best news of all is that the first 30 minutes of each ride is completely free. After the first 30 minutes, it's just $4 for each half hour. You're allowed to rent more than one time in a day's time and any bike can be returned to any of the 20 stations.
The program is expected to cost no more than $400,000 each year. It's privately funded, but is fortunate enough to have Verizon, Carolinas HealthCare System and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina as a sponsors.
Local bicycling advocates couldn't be happier.
"This is just going to make it convenient," said Weldon Weaver with Charlotte Area Bicycle Alliance. "You don't have to own the bike. You don't have to maintain it."
Across the U.S., there are dozens of cities that have already launched the program, the Wisconsin-based B-cycle bicycle network.
The stations will be scattered around areas in which transportation officials feel they will be most needed. You'll be able to found them around light-rail, shuttle and bus stops and even near streetcar areas.
Each bike weighs just under 50 pounds and comes equipped with baskets in the front. They also come with covered chains, adjustable seats as well as disc brakes.Each bike will also be equipped with a GPS tracker.
As we said before, each half hour after the first 30 minutes will be $4. A daily pass will only cost $8 and a year pass will run users about $65. Members of Blue Cross and Blue Shield can get a yearly pass for just $50 and everyone else can get $5 off if they sign up for their membership before July 31st.