City-Parish seeks firms to launch bike share program in Baton Rouge

3 months ago WBRZ 0

BATON ROUGE – The City-Parish is seeking a firm to start a bike share program in Baton Rouge, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome announced Tuesday.

According to a new release from Broome’s office, the program is set to launch in the first half of 2019 in order to “improve the quality of life and offer transportation alternatives in the parish.”

The bike share phenomenon has spread across the world and the United States. In December 2017, New Orleans launched its first bike share program, Blue Bikes. People can pay annually for memberships to ride or rent by the hour.

“Bikeshare will play a key role in my overall transportation vision for East Baton Rouge Parish,” said Mayor Broome. “This program will add a much-needed layer of mobility to our system, and will tie in seamlessly with my proposed MOVEBR plan.”

The City-Parish previously won a grant to determine if a bike share program would be feasible in Baton Rouge. Firms have until Aug. 21 to submit offers. A finalist will ultimately be decided upon by a City-Parish selection committee. The finalist will also have to be authorized by the Metro Council, which would likely happen in Septemeber.

The winning firm is then expected to start a bike share program within six months of signing a contract.

50 stations and 500 bikes would be installed in the first phase, with some of them being electric-assisted. The bikes would be located at LSU, Southern University and downtown. The second phase would include 30 more stations and 300 bikes.

DOTD is providing the City-Parish $600,000 in funding, exclusively for alternative mobility projects. The City-Parish is additionally providing $260,000 reserved for biking and similar projects. The money would go towards bike share station equipment, site planning and installing the system.

“As this area continues to grow and the modes of transportation evolve, alternative means of transportation will become even more important to help ease congestion and improve quality of life,” Sec. Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D. said. “Projects such as the Government Street road diet will provide more opportunities for businesses, pedestrians and cyclists. DOTD is excited to support this bike share program as it will be beneficial as the city and state moves forward to improve biking opportunities.”