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Chicago Hops On Bike Sharing Phenomenon

With the recently announced selection of a vendor to operate its first large-scale bicycle sharing program, Chicagoans are primed to start pedaling in earnest this summer, reports Jon Hilkevitch.

Alta Bicycle Share, Inc., of Portland and its equipment manufacturer, Public Bike System Co. have been selected over two competing bids to implement and operate a $21 million network beginning this summer. According to Hilkevitch, 3,000 bicycles will be made available at 300 solar-powered self-service pick-up and drop-off locations this summer, with expansion to a total of 5,000 bikes and 500 docking stations by 2014.

Alta currently operates bike-share systems in London, Melbourne, Boston, Minneapolis, Washington, Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa, and is expanding to New York and Chattanooga this year.

As for the $21 million start-up price tag, "$18 million will be covered by federal funding aimed at improving air quality and easing traffic congestion and the remaining $3 million will be provided by the city," writes Hilkevitch. Operating costs are expected to be covered entirely by users.

Full Story: Bicycle-sharing vendor selected by Chicago

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