Birmingham Bike Share Program bicycles unveiled

Birmingham Bike Share Program bicycles unveiled

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - On Friday, folks got a first look at the new BikeShare program in Birmingham.

What we found out is that this program could help the city get approved for grant money to improve biking infrastructure.

The BikeShare program will provide 400 bikes in the city center, along with 40 docking stations. Folks can use the bikes to ride through downtown for leisure, exercise or as an alternative to driving if you live downtown.

The BikeShare system will include 100 electric pedal assist bikes, giving riders a boost along Birmingham's often challenging terrain.

"You'll be able to go up to a docking station and use your membership card, your smart phone or just pay to take out the bike and use it for an amount of time and deliver it back to the closest docking station," said David Fleming.

Fleming is the CEO of REV Birmingham. He says one the many benefits of Bike share is that it'll make the city economically competitive.

"Because so many cities that are attracting the kind of workforce that we want to have for the future see this as one of the must-haves," said Fleming.

REV Birmingham officials say another benefit is that the program could mean improvements to biking infrastructure, like adding more bike lanes. Every bicycle comes with an internal GPS, not for the biker to use, but it collects data to track the routes bikers are taking.

City planners will use that data to show the need for biking improvements and the goal is to apply for grant money to pay for them. The end result is making the city more bike friendly.

The city will have to apply for that grant money and get approved first. The bikes will be ready for people to use in the Fall. The BikeShare program is set to launch in September.

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