Durham Looks At Bike Sharing Programs | News

Durham Looks At Bike Sharing Programs


Wish you could bike between meetings downtown or from work to the bus stop? Then you might want to weigh in on a plan to bring a bike share system to the Bull City.

The city's transportation department is seeking input for a bike share pilot program. Staff have been researching the possibility of implementing a dock-based system, in which bikes are picked up and dropped off at set storage locations. And "dockless bike share operators" have been courting the city as well, a press release from the city says. With a dockless system, bikes could be dropped off and picked up anywhere. Users would locate and unlock a bike with an app.
  • Photo by Shinya Suzuki, Creative Commons license
Apparently bike sharing is the thing to do. Raleigh is rolling out a dock-based bike share system similar to programs in New York, Atlanta and Washington, D.C. NC State, NC Central and UNC Greensboro all have dockless systems, as does the city of Seattle.

There are pros and cons to each system, says Bicycle and Pedestrian Planner Bryan Poole: "For example, while a dock system has bikes in a set location, with smart bikes the bike location is never guaranteed. Additionally, the bikes do not need a bike rack and can be left anywhere, so there is potential for the bikes to become obstacles within the public right-of-way."

According to the city press release, dock-based systems generally require some kind of government or sponsor investment, dockless bike share companies wouldn't need city investment.

Residents are being asked to fill out a survey on what type of system they prefer, how they would use the bikes and their current transportation habits. Durham has 44.3 miles of bike lanes and another 8.9 miles are set to be built this year.

On October 4 from ten a.m. to two p.m., residents can try out dockless bikes at City Hall and ask questions of operators and city staff.

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