AUSTIN (KXAN) - Austin's bicycle sharing program is moving forward. Thursday, City Council approved the non-profit Bike Share of Austin to run the program.
Once up and going, the bicycle sharing program will sport 40 rental kiosks and 400 bicycles. Likely, the kiosks will be concentrated around downtown to start.
"What other cities have found is that you really need to have a good density of stations to make this system work," said Council member Chris Riley. "You need to know when you get one of these bikes there's going to be another on of those stations right near your destination."
Instead of catering to tourists, this program is geared to residents and to work with public transportation options already in place.
"Here locally it could an effective first and last mile option for many. It could supplement a transit option," said Riley.
The model is based on other programs, like San Antonio's. Robert Peche lives in San Antonio but works in Austin and has seen that program up close.
"The bikes in San Antonio are a certain type of bike," said Robert Peche of San Antonio. "They're not a 10-speed bike. They're not these mountain bikes or whatnot. But, they're designed for a specific purpose, intermittent use, not real long distances."
The next step is for the city to approve a vendor to supply the bikes. What vendor they go with will determine what kind of bicycles and the cost to rent them.
San Antonio charges $60 for a yearly membership.
Austin will also be looking for citizen input on kiosk locations.
"We're looking to develop a web based interactive for the community of Austin and surrounding neighborhoods to give input on where the kiosks should be located," said Adrian Lipscombe, City of Austin Public Works Project Manager.
The city says the bike share program is just part of conquering local mobility issues.
"You have think through the issues of how you're going to share the road," said Peche.
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Travis County non-profit Center for Child Protection will benefit next March from an all day fundraiser at the Circuit of the Americas that will see plenty of donors racing on the track.
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Santa visited Austin early on Sunday, joining hundreds of motorcyclists for their annual Toy Run.
Late Saturday night into early Sunday morning, a light band of freezing drizzle traversed the I-35 corridor eastward. With sub-freezing temperatures, even the light precipitation created major problems.