Bike share coming to Hyde Park

The last of five public meetings to discuss a new bike sharing initiative in Chicago will take place on the South Side of Chicago today, and city officials are seeking input as to where the stations for the program should be located.

“Hyde Park will absolutely get stations, and the South Side will absolutely get stations,” said Scott Kubly, managing deputy commissioner at the Chicago Deaprtment of Transporation. “The participation is important because the residents of any particular neighborhood are going to know the best places to put those, they’re going to know where they want to go to and from.”

Beginning in the spring of 2013, bikes will be available throughout Chicago at stations where they will rent for a one-day $7 fee or a yearly $75 fee plus a per-half-hour rate (the first half hour is free). Just where those stations will be located will largely depend on input from residents – and demographics.

“You have the densest stations where you have the densest populations,” Kubly said.

Suggestions will be accepted at the meeting, but there is also a place to vote on the programs website, share.chicagobikes.org. While officials say there will certainly be locations on the South Side, a map of locations that have been suggested on the site is peppered with North Side spots and just a few South Side suggestions. Four previous meetings have been held in the Loop and at North Side locations.

The program is intended for short trips, Kubly said.

“We don’t want to compete with existing bike rental businesses — we don’t want to compete with the all-day bike rental,” Kubly said. “We want to serve the short trips — that trip that’s maybe 15 or 20 minutes by bike.”
The meeting will be held at the Charles Hayes Family Investment Center, 4859 S. Wabash Ave., from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The program will be launched in spring of 2013 and 400 locations with 4,000 bikes are planned to be completed by the end of the year. Participants will be able to pick up a bike from one location and drop it off at any other station.

For more information, visit share.chicagobikes.org.

herald@hpherald.com