Reporting Joel Thomas
FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) – They call it the longest, last mile – the distance from where you get off the bus in Fort Worth – to your final destination. But the city is rolling out a bike share program where the bikes will be waiting for you to rent when you get there.
“Fort Worth Bike Share is a great program to allow folks to pick up a bike at downtown next to city hall, ride it down to Magnolia to have lunch, park it there, have some one else take that bike somewhere else,” said Council Member Joel Burns, who’s central Fort Worth district will host the majority of the Bike Share program.
Bikes with low-slung center bars, a basket on the handlebars and an easily adjustable ride height will be at 30 rental sites from the Hospital District to the Arts District and from Downtown to Texas Christian University (TCU). Swipe your credit card or your membership card and the bike is yours to ride and leave at another location. The idea first gained traction overseas.
“We actually had the opportunity to travel to Amsterdam a couple of times and we had the opportunity to rent a bike, ride it across town, park it and just pick up another bike essentially,” said Bryce Tomberlin who frequents the Magnolia Street area, one of Fort Worth’s most bike friendly districts.
“Europe is way ahead of the United States,” said Tony Johnson, Executive Vice President of the Fort Worth Transportation Authority, or T, which set the project in motion.
Johnson said American cities are starting to catch on.
“Like New York is buying 10,000 bikes, Denver, San Antonio, Austin,” Johnson said, ticking off the short list of cities developing bike share programs.
And now Fort Worth is on that list. The T received a federal grant to start the program and formed a non-profit agency to run it.
The bikes are designed to be ridden by any level rider and an on-board GPS tracking unit ensures they won’t just disappear.
After a certain amount of time the bike is flagged, we’ll know where it is, who checked it out and we’ll be calling for sure!
You can expect to see renters sharing their bikes around Fort Worth this spring.
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