Atlanta Officials Plan Bike Share Program

U.S. cities such as Boston and New York have launched bike share programs. And Atlanta may not be far behind.Listen to the audio version of this story.

Through a bike share, the city would provide bikes residents could use for a fee. And riders could decide on the spot if they feel like riding a bike, according to Dr. Kari Watkins, an engineering professor at Georgia Tech.

“You can check it out and use it for just a short distance and there would be another station where it is that you’re heading and you put the bike back in for someone else to use,” Watkins says, “And when you’re ready to go back, you can grab a different one and go back to where it was you started from.”

Atlanta’s program would start with 500 bikes at 50 stations. Rebecca Serna, the executive director of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, says there will be some special features to help riders navigate Atlanta’s terrain.

“Our bikes are going to be required to have at least seven speeds to deal with our hills,” Serna says, “A lot of other cities are using three-speed bikes. And then, really the key for us, as far as what’s going to make Bike Share successful in Atlanta is that the city is committed to investing in safe and comfortable bike ways.”

Those bike ways include the Atlanta Belt Line and $2.5 million worth of bike lanes recently approved by the Atlanta City Council. The coalition is working with city officials to secure funding for the project. Serna expects the program to start in about a year and a half.