South Bend Launches Bikesharing

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(photo courtesy city of South Bend) (photo courtesy city of South Bend)

The city of South Bend has launched a dockless bikeshare program. At a news conference Monday, Mayor Pete Buttigieg said the program, created in partnership with California-based LimeBike, brings together innovation in transportation, the city's complete streets policy and inclusion efforts for bicyclists.

The system of using dockless bikes has allowed for zero public investment in the program since there is no need for bike stations to be installed throughout the city. Officials say a traditional bike sharing system can cost up to $5,000 per bike to maintain the network. According to LimeBike's website, the company covers all maintenance, operation and rider education costs.

"This is one of the very first cities to have a dockless bikesharing system," said Buttigieg. "There's no taxpayer cash going into it from the city transportation program. This is a third party solution, a public-private partnership, that relies on technology that wouldn't have been available a few years ago."

The program will be fully deployed later this week with 210 bikes. More than 500 bikes will be available in the coming weeks. Riders will pay $1 for 30 minutes for the bikes, which users can locate by using the LimeBike app.

After the initial bike deployment, additional bikes will be allocated based on use data. The LimeBike system is also used in Greensboro, North Carolina and Key Biscayne, Florida. It will soon be deployed in Seattle, Washington as well.

The city says the program will encourage healthier, more sustainable and more equitable transportation and will provide an economic benefit to residents by reducing transportation costs. The program also fits in with the city's Smart Streets initiative, which celebrated its grand opening last month.

You can learn more about the program by clicking here.

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