Here’s some great news that will make it easier to get around downtown Detroit. The city’s first bike share program will launch next year.
The goal for the first phase of bike share is to provide approximately 350 bikes and 35 stations throughout greater downtown Detroit. The system will be designed for short distance trips and will seek to maximize use of Detroit’s growing network of more than 170 miles of bike lanes and greenways as another transit option.
The bike share program comes none too soon. We have more bikers in the city these days, from thousands participating in group rides, such as Slow Roll and Tour de Troit, to those using bikes to commute to work, run errands or get around town.
Approximately 250 bikes pass through greater downtown on a typical weekday afternoon, according to the Hudson-Webber Foundation’s 7.2-square-mile study reported. Plus the League of American Bicyclists lists Detroit as the fastest growing biking city for commuters in the country.
The new bike sharing program is a partnership between the Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP), Henry Ford Health System/Health Alliance Plan (Henry Ford/HAP) and the City of Detroit’s Department of Transportation (DDOT). Ford/HAP is the title sponsor and has pledged a three-year financial commitment to help launch and operate the bike share system.
“We are so excited to be a key player in bringing a bike share program to the city of Detroit. This is a unique partnership that will have a very positive impact on the health and wellness of our community, and provides another meaningful opportunity for Henry Ford Health System to enhance the cultural and economic future of our great City,” said Nancy Schlichting, CEO, Henry Ford Health System.
Detroit’s bike share system also is receiving support from the Michigan Department of Transportation, Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, Hudson Webber Foundation, and Kresge Foundation.
DDOT has collaborated with DDP to secure federal grant funding, which will be used to purchase the bike share stations. Additionally, DDOT is working with DDP to secure an equipment provider and operator for the system.
“I am thrilled to announce these major partners,” said Lisa Nuszkowski, executive director of Detroit Bike Share at DDP. “The overall level of interest and support in bringing bike share to Detroit has been incredibly encouraging, and we’re looking forward to exploring how we can use this new transportation option to connect Detroiters to economic opportunity and increase the number of choices people have to get around.”
With the system, Detroit will join more than 70 cities across the United States that offer bike share.
“DDOT is very excited to partner with DDP to bring this new bike share program to the city,” said Dan Dirks, director of DDOT. “This program will expand commuting options for Detroiters and will allow residents and visitors alike to explore Detroit.”
You might remember that Wayne State University conducted a feasibility study on bike sharing and helped raise awareness and funds for a public bike share system. The program officially transitioned over to DDP in July 2015.
DDP is seeking additional sponsors and partners to launch bike share in 2016. For more information, If you’re interested or have some suggestions, please contact Lisa Nuszkowski at email@example.com.
A Request for Proposals (RFP) for an equipment provider and system operations will be released by the City of Detroit later this month.
For more information, please visit http://www.detroitmi.gov/How-Do-I/Do-Business-with-the-City/Items-Out-To-Bid-Information.