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City Of Bloomington, Indiana University Plan Bike Share Program

A bicyclist using a multi-use path in Bloomington.

Photo: Tyler Lake

The proposed bike share program will allow residents to rent out bicycles using a smartphone app.

The city of Bloomington and Indiana University plan to start a bike sharing program early next year.

The two will put out a joint request for proposals next week. The program will allow residents to rent bikes through a smartphone app for a set price.

While the city and the university are seeking separate contracts for a bike share, the plan is to use the same vendor so every bike can be used in the city and on campus.

IU Transportation Demand Management Coordinator and Bicycle Manager Kevin Whited says the program will provide students and residents more options for reliable transportation.

“It will work much better for the student body, and then also just getting around the city of Bloomington or getting between campus and the city, if you need to go grocery shopping or something,” Whited says.

“Bloomington is well known as a leader in efforts to protect the environment and is already acknowledged as a bicycle-friendly city. A Bloomington bike share makes great sense,” Mayor John Hamilton said in a statement. “A partnership between the overlapping IU and Bloomington communities will provide the new program its best chance for success by reaching the most potential riders.”

The initial proposal calls for an inventory of about 150 bikes, according to the press release. The goal is to eventually offer one bike for every 100 city residents.

The city will host a public meeting on the bike share proposal in City Hall on Nov. 6 to hear public comment and provide more information.

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