Bloomington launched a new bike share program this week in collaboration with Indiana University.
Despite some public doubts about vandalism and theft, Bloomington Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator Beth Rosenbarger says Pace, the company operating the program, will assume all responsibility.
She says it requires an account, forming a contract-like relationship between the user and Pace.
“If anything happens, that will be a private matter settled between Pace Bike Share and the user,” Rosenbarger says. “The city is allowing the bike share to be here and we want people to use it, but we’re not running the bike share.”
Here’s what you need to know about how to use the program:
1. Where can you get the bikes?
There are six dedicated bike share stations: on Dunn St. by Peoples Park, on Grant St. north of Kirkwood, on 6th street on the north side of courthouse square, at 6th and Morton, and one on 4th street near Dunn.
2. Who can use them?
The program is restricted to people age 18 and older.
3. How does it work?
Users can locate and unlock a bike through a smartphone app. A map shows users where the bikes are located throughout the city.
4. How much does it cost?
The bikes cost $1 per 30 minutes. Users can also pay for a monthly subscription for unlimited 60-minute trips.
5. How to return them?
Riders can return a bike to one of the docking stations, or to any public rack in Bloomington and lock them to the rack with a rear wheel lock and a cable lock. Then, end the ride in the app.
“If you were to ride to a class on IU campus, when you get to campus, you could lock it to one of the many IU bike racks,” Rosenbarger says. “If you were biking to go out to eat in downtown Bloomington, when you get to the restaurant and you know there’s a bike rack outside the restaurant, you can lock it to that bike rack.”
Bloomington bike share history
This isn’t the first bike share program the city has attempted.
In August, 1998, IU student David Milewski started Yellow Bike Project for a class project. Twenty-five donated bikes were put in the cost-free program. But three short months later, vandalism and theft became overwhelming and forced the program to end.