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Fort Worth Bike Sharing to launch in April with 30 stations

Posted Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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FORT WORTH -- The "last mile" -- the connection between public transit stations and passengers' final destinations -- gets a new link April 22, when Fort Worth Bike Sharing comes to town with 300 red three-speed cruisers.

The nonprofit organization, seeded by a $1 million federal grant last year, is installing the bikes at 30 stations to start. It's also now seeking funding to expand the program beyond the initial launch, Executive Director Kristen Camareno said.

"My personal goal is to have 50 stations and 500 bikes within the next two years," she said.

Fort Worth will be the third Texas city with such a program, after Houston and San Antonio. It is designed to get cars off the road, filling missing transit links in a daily commute, allowing office workers to hop to lunch and back, and easing excursions inside urban districts such as West Seventh Street and the near south side's Magnolia Avenue.

The rental rates will be $8 per 24 hours, payable by credit card. Memberships are also available: $80 for one year, $20 for seven days and $30 for 30 days.

All rates allow unlimited free 30-minute rides. Check the bike back in within that window, and there's no extra charge. Keep it longer, and it's $1.50 for the second half-hour and $3 for each half-hour after that.

"If you take the bike all day, you're not bike-sharing," Camareno said. "The idea is to keep these bikes moving."

The bikes, specially made by Trek for bike-share programs, will have baskets and onboard locks, front and rear lights powered by a front-wheel generator, fenders, street tires, and seat posts that can be adjusted for rider heights. To guard against vandalism, the seat posts can't be removed.

Onboard GPS will enable Fort Worth Bike Sharing to keep track of the bikes. Users will be able to go online and keep track of calorie burn, mileage, carbon footprint and gasoline savings. Fort Worth Bike Sharing paid $1,118 apiece for the bikes, Camareno said.

"Fort Worth's urban scene has taken off, and bike sharing will be a great addition," Mayor Betsy Price said in her weekly mayor's message Monday.

Fort Worth Bike Sharing is still firming up locations.

Several stations will be downtown, near the Tarrant County College-Courthouse complex, City Place, Central Library, Sundance Square, Intermodal Transportation Center, T&P terminal, Fort Worth Convention Center, Federal Building/City Hall, Burnett Park and Fifth and Penn streets.

On West Seventh, Fort Worth Bike Sharing plans stations at Seventh and Stayton streets near So7, and at Montgomery Plaza and Trinity Park.

The organization is interested in the popular new restaurant and shopping hub south of West Seventh and west of Foch Street, but dense development has made finding a suitable location difficult, said Nick Olivier of Fort Worth Bike Sharing.

In the Cultural District, Fort Worth Bike Share plans stations at the UNT Health Science Center and Western Heritage garage. Still possible are ones closer to the Kimbell and Modern art museums, Olivier said.

On the near south side, Fort Worth Bike Share plans stations on Magnolia Avenue; at Harris Hospital, a sponsor; Main Street and Daggett Avenue; and Park Place and Enderly Place. Fort Worth Bike Share is in talks with John Peter Smith Hospital about a location there.

And at TCU, officials have agreed to sponsor one station.

Fort Worth Bike Share is seeking volunteers to ride the 300 bikes to a media event April 22 and then on to their assigned stations.

To sign up, email info@fortworthbikesharing.org

Scott Nishimura, 817-390-7808

Twitter: @JScottNishimura

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