May 19 – Bakersfield could soon receive its first bike sharing program, which can be found in many US cities.
On Wednesday, the city council is due to approve a contract with Spin to run a two-year electric bike sharing program. Spin, a Ford electric scooter company, has shown an interest in Bakersfield in the past. In 2019 the company was in talks with representatives from Bakersfield to bring electric scooters to market in the city.
It appears to have taken some time for these plans to materialize. Now the city believes a new bike sharing program could reduce traffic congestion and promote healthy lifestyles.
“I have seen bike-sharing programs in every city from New York to Washington DC to the Bay Area and have used and enjoyed bike-sharing programs in these different cities. I am very excited to see you come to Bakersfield now. ” said councilor Andrae Gonzales. “It really addresses some of the transportation needs of some of our people from deprived neighborhoods and gives them access to this mode of transport, and I think that’s a positive thing.”
Bakersfield has received approximately $ 1.1 million in government funding to install the infrastructure and run the program. The city has also pledged a $ 257,000 local match to support the project.
In a separate project, Spin will also use electronic scooters for local residents.
According to a memo sent to the city council as part of the agenda on Wednesday, the city will install bike lanes, bike corrals and bike racks as part of the project.
While electric scooters are already present in Bakersfield, there has so far been no program for sharing bicycles. Additionally, Bird, the electric scooter company that surprised both city officials and residents in 2018 by delivering hundreds of scooters without warning, did not work with the city prior to launching on-site. Spin, on the other hand, is about to win a city contract.
The story goes on
Hundreds, if not thousands, of cities around the world offer bike sharing programs. The programs usually work in such a way that individuals can ride a bike from one docking station to the next. In some cases, the bikes are left unlocked and can be ridden anywhere in a specific area.
Spin plans to start the program with 125 e-bikes. Users can ride the bikes anywhere in a zone that includes central Bakersfield, as well as the Cal State Bakersfield and Bakersfield College locations. Charging stations are also installed in various locations within the program boundaries.
Gonzales said discounts would be available to those on low incomes and those who do not have bank accounts.
“I think this is an important step,” added Gonzales. “We need everything, multiple modes of transport. Certainly this bike-sharing program, funded by grants the city has received, is just another important piece for our community.”
The program doesn’t have a set start date, but Gonzales said he hoped it could begin within a few months.
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