Celebrate kickoff of bike share with community ride

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It's just two weeks until the official launch of 30 bike sharing stations across Fort Worth, including one on the TCU campus as well as one at the intersection of Park Place and Enderly Place.

The April 22 kick-off event will feature a “send-off” of all 300 bikes from Burnett Park to stations across the city, according to Fort Worth Bike Sharing’s website. Volunteers are still needed to ride each bike to different stations.

Executive director of Fort Worth Bike Sharing Kristen Camareno said she cannot wait to see everyone using the bikes.

“I’m most excited to see people you wouldn’t expect to see on a bike get out there and use them,” she said.

TCU sophomore David James doesn't have a car, and said he is looking forward to not depending on other people for rides.

“I’m not much of a bike rider, but it will definitely be easier to get around without a car,” TCU sophomore David James said. “I’ll definitely be at the opening.”

Docking stations, half of which are solar powered, can be found in high pedestrian traffic areas as well as areas with lots of workplaces. These will be the first in the country featuring the new bike model, Camareno said.

Nick Olivier, media contact for Fort Worth Bike Sharing, said the program is expected to make the city even more accessible for all residents.

“The addition of the bike stations will help improve the last mile of public transportation,” Olivier, said. “Now it will be easier for people to get to work from the bus or train station.”

Membership to use the bikes is $8 for 24 hours or $80 annually. The membership only allows for 30 free minutes; a $1.50 charge is applied for the next half hour and $3 for each half hour after that.

“The point is to keep the bikes in circulation and not sitting in someone’s office,” Olivier said. “If you need it for more than 30 minutes, check into another station, grab another bike and keep going for no charge.”

Fort Worth Bike Sharing, the newly created non-profit organization in charge, received a grant last July for up to 30 stations and 300 bikes, but Camareno said expansion is only a matter of time.

“We are applying for more grants, and we do have plans for expansion perhaps to the Stockyards or the East Side,” Camareno said.

She also said that other cities across the metroplex are looking into their own bike sharing systems. In the future, she hopes that one membership will apply to multiple cities.

For information on where the closest station is to you or simply how the program works, visit http://fortworth.bcycle.com/.

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