A bike share program like those embraced in other cities will be started later this year in downtown Oklahoma City.
Such programs have “stations” where bicycles are checked in and out with a deposit placed on one's credit card. A nominal charge is sometimes paid for use of the bicycles; final details of the downtown arrangements are pending negotiation of a vendor contract.
Jennifer Gooden, director of the city's sustainability office, hopes to start a pilot program with four locations this fall, with a full program launch next spring. She is still meeting with vendors, though she envisions the program will ultimately include about 90 bicycles.
“It will all be in the central city — Automobile Alley, Bricktown, downtown, and it could go up into the medical business district,” Gooden said.
Similar programs have proved popular in other cities, with The Washington Post recently reporting a bike share program in the nation's capital suffers from having not enough bicycles to meet demand.
Locally, a bike share program was started a few years ago at the University of Central Oklahoma.
“We want to increase transportation options downtown and provide convenience to those wanting to get around,” Gooden said. “With the shared bike program, you can use the bike for a while and then drop it off when you don't need it anymore. And having people on bikes contributes to street life, and that's good for everyone. And it's a healthier way of getting around.”