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Metro Orlando Considers Bike Share


Central Florida residents could have more opportunities to take a bike on their daily commute after the SunRail train begins service. The regional transportation planning agency MetroPlan Orlando is considering whether to start a bike share program. The program would offer bikes for rent for passengers to go the last mile to their destination after they get off the train.

Some cities along the 61 mile Sun Rail route, like Orlando and Winter Park, have already begun to examine potential bike share programs. 

Orlando put out a request for information about bike sharing. Three companies responded: the Wisconsin based B-Cycle; Deco Bike, which has programs in South Florida and New York; and the Southern California based Bike Nation.

Mighk Wilson, who leads the MetroPlan bike share working group, says it makes more sense to have a region wide system.

“You don’t want to have the user sign up for a program, let’s say in the city of Orlando, and then go sign up for another program maybe in Altamonte, and then have all that redundancy.”

The working group held its first meeting Wednesday. 

Wilson says if it’s feasible he would hope to see bike share start soon after SunRail begins service in 2014.  

He says the working group will adapt the City of Orlando's Request For Information and send it out again on behalf of the whole region.

"What we haven't really determined yet is, are we going to move forward with a bike share program," says Wilson.

"We still need to answer a number of questions before we make that commitment."

A bike share system could include rental kiosks based at SunRail stops.

The working group will consider other locations too, including International Drive and the University of Central Florida.

Meanwhile Winter Park Sustainability Coordinator Tim Maslow says his city has already made inquiries into setting up bike sharing around the new SunRail station. Maslow says he agrees it makes sense to work together.

"We are willing to stay patient and work with other interested cities, counties and organizations to offer the best possible bike share program," says Maslow. 

He says a private company with experience running bike sharing programs would be an ideal fit.

 

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