DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas may soon join other Texas cities in starting a bicycle sharing program, but the city’s initial proposed investment, some say, is hardly a confident endorsement of the idea.
Earlier this month, the Dallas Park and Recreation Board approved $125,000 for non-profit Friends of Fair Park to install and operate a bicycle rental program at Fair Park.
The $125,000, if approved by city council, would pay for a network of 15-20 bicycles.
Other cities, such as Fort Worth, have made larger initial investments in bike-sharing programs.
Last year, the City of Fort Worth spent more than a million dollars on installing the B-Cycle bike share program, where with the swipe of a credit card bicycles can been rented from a network of docking ports around downtown.
Nick Labarba, a service manager at Bike Mart in Dallas, said he thinks a bike-sharing program, like the one in Fort Worth, would be frequently used in Dallas.
Most days Labarba commutes to work on his bicycle and said he thinks others would too using a shared bicycle program if there were enough docking stations to make it convenient.
“I don’t have to go sit in traffic like everyone else,” he explained. “I don’t have waste money putting gas in my car. I just have to get on my bike and ride.”
If approved, the city and Friends at Fair Park hope to have the program at Fair Park set up and running by May.
With docking stations at Fair Park, the city hopes it will serve a double purpose – to test the bike sharing program idea as well as add an attraction to the often underused 277-acre city park.
“Maybe there will be a group of citizens that use it, but it’s not going to revive Fair Park,” said skeptic Bill Deniger.
For the past 15 years, once a week Deniger, 70, skates around Fair Park. He said it often feels as if he is the only one in the park and is not convinced a bike-sharing program will change that.
“In Dallas people like their cars,” he said.
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