BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - In just a few months, Birmingham residents will have another option for getting around town: rental bikes available to ride and return at 40 different spots across the city.
REV Birmingham revealed the look of the new bikes on Friday morning at the Regions Financial Corporation Plaza downtown.
The BikeShare program is slated to launch in September and will offer 400 bikes at 40 different kiosks in downtown Birmingham, Avondale and Highlands areas.
One hundred of the bikes will be electric, to help riders with some of Birmingham's "challenging terrain," REV Birmingham says, and the other 300 will be pedal bikes.
If you want to rent a bike, you'll have the option of swiping a credit card or paying a yearly membership fee. The exact cost is still being determined.
REV Birmingham announced the BikeShare program on April 20, and on May 1 announced their sponsors: Regions, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama and the Alabama Power Foundation.
"We believe in the resurgence of Birmingham," said Koko Mackin with BCBS of Alabama.
"Happy and healthy residents and workers are a core component of the city's new vibrancy. Birmingham BikeShare packages both convenience and healthier lifestyle options in a fun and forward-thinking way – a win-win for our city, visitors and beyond," Mackin added.
The program, expected to cost about $1 million per year, will be funded through corporate sponsors, the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham and the rental prices.
"This is going to be the most innovative system in the Western Hemisphere, so it's only natural we're bringing it to Birmingham, a city on the move forward," Birmingham Mayor William A. Bell Sr. said in a news release.
"This is a true public-private partnership that will benefit our citizens and our visitors," Bell said.
Sidewalk decals are being placed in the areas considered for a BikeShare kiosk to get feedback from the community about whether or not it's a good location.
The BikeShare system is being bought from the Quebec-based company Bewegen, according to REV Birmingham.