After Long Road, Bike-Share Gets Boost in Philly

The bike-share bandwagon is getting awfully full! On Friday came news that Mayor Nutter will ask Philadelphia's city council for $3 million to help fund a city-wide bike-share program that could hit the streets by early 2014.
December 10, 2012, 6am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Paul Nussbaum reports on promising news from the City of Brotherly Love, which may become the next big American city to develop a city-wide bike-share program. Although it's been studying the idea for five years, deputy mayor for transportation Rina Cutler said that Philadelphia waited to pursue such a program until the city could establish more bike lanes and bike-friendly streets.

According to Nussbaum, "[t]he city envisions contributing $3 million, with an additional $5 million to $6 million from federal, state or private funds, to buy the bikes, set up the stations, and establish the program. The operating costs of the program are to be paid for by riders, advertising on bikes and stations, and corporate sponsors, under the city's plan."

"Russell Meddin, the founder of Bike Share Philadelphia and a longtime advocate of the concept, hailed the administration's announcement. 'I think anything that will bring bike sharing to Philadelphia is great. It's been a hard road,' he said. 'We've been working on this for six years.'"

"He urged city officials to plan for more bikes and more use than currently envisioned [650 by early 2014 and 550 more in 2015]. 'Washington, Minneapolis, Boston - they're all playing incredible catch-up now to fill out their systems because they didn't start with enough.'"

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Published on Saturday, December 8, 2012 in Philadelphia Inquirer -- Philly.com
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