Cincinnati’s first bike sharing program could be up and running by this summer, said Mayor John Cranley and the program’s executive director on Friday.
Cranley had previously announced he would propose giving Cincy Bike Share $1.1 million in startup funds. Cincy Bike Share executive director Jason Barron said the city’s contribution should pave the way for private funders to write checks for the other half of the program’s startup costs.
“We have most of it in hand,” Barron said of the needed private contributions. “We think the mayor’s pledge is going to unlock those dollars. Without the mayor’s support, Bike Share wouldn’t be coming to Cincinnati this soon.”
Cincy Bike Share’s service is aimed at residents, downtown workers and tourists. People can rent a bike, ride it to another neighborhood and return it to a station where someone else can use it.
The program will start out with 35 stations and about 300 bikes in downtown, Over-the-Rhine and Uptown near the University of Cincinnati.
At a news conference on Friday, Cranley and biking activists also detailed the status of other off-road, paved bike trails. Cranley wants City Council to appropriate $200,000 for each, with future funding expected to be a mix of public and private dollars.
- The city recently offered Norfolk and Southern, the railroad that owns the Wasson Way rail line, $2 million for the line. Cranley expects to get a counteroffer. He believes Wasson Way, which runs from Xavier University to the bike trail that runs along the Little Miami River, can be completed within five years.
“I think they are going to be willing to sell,” Cranley said of Norfolk Southern. “There’s a limit to how much we can pay for it. We’re comfortable paying them $2 million for it. There’s probably some room to move there.”