Fort Worth Bike-Sharing Almost Ready for Streets

New public transit option just weeks away from being on city streets

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Fort Worth's newest public transit option is about a month away from hitting the streets. (Published Friday, Mar 15, 2013)

    Fort Worth's newest public transit option is about a month away from hitting the streets.

    The 300 bicycles that make up the city's newest fleet of public transit vehicles are in temporary storage inside a warehouse on the city's Near Southside.

    "We're in the home stretch now," said Kristen Camareno, Fort Worth Bike Sharing executive director. "You can see we've got our bicycles here being assembled, so that's sort the last step."

    The bikes will eventually be picked up or dropped off by citizens signing up for the bike-sharing program at up to 30 stations across town.

    The stations cost $1.04 million, but 90 percent of that was covered by a federal grant.

    "We secured a federal grant to sort of help pay for a lot of it to get started," said Dick Ruddell, The T president.

    The T will match the federal grant with 10 percent of the cost. The bikes, on the other hand, will be paid for through sponsorships, advertising and, eventually, user fees. Camareno expects the bikes will see plenty of users once the bike sharing debuts next month.

    "This is a system for everyone," Camareno said. "You don't have to be a spandex cyclist, you don't have to have a long history of riding bicycles to enjoy and get use out of this program."

    Ruddell said the main purpose of the program is to add another layer of transportation to what the city already has in place and perhaps bring in new people to public transit and away from driving.

    "It helps connect public transit with the destinations people are going," he said. "It'll help people get around downtown."

    Bike-sharing programs have seen success in other cities across the country, such as Denver and San Antonio.

    "Yes, we expect it to be very successful here," Camareno said.

    And while there's still work to be done, there's a lot of excitement to see the bikes roll out into service. Starting early next month, 27 of the 30 stations will be installed.

    And on April 22, all 300 bikes will ride into Burnett Park in downtown to commemorate the program's start. From there, volunteer riders will ride the bikes to the stations across Fort Worth.

    Fore more information on the Fort Worth Bike Sharing, how it works and how to take part in the opening day celebration, click here.