Chattanooga gets bike-sharing preview

Chattanooga gets bike-sharing preview

November 23rd, 2011 by Naomi Jagoda in News

Jeremy Pomp looks through his bag next to the demonstration rack on Market Street on Tuesday. Alta Bike Share has installed a demonstration rack on Market Street in front of the Chattanooga Choo Choo. Though the company is not yet renting bicycles in Chattanooga, Pomp said they will install a second demo rack after Thanksgiving, with more to follow in the spring.

Photo by Jake Daniels/Times Free Press.

POLL: Would you use a bike-sharing program?

Chattanoogans can get a preview of the bike-sharing program coming this spring.

A demo station was installed Monday in front of the Chattanooga Choo Choo, and another will be installed next week at the south side of the Walnut Street Bridge.

Jeremy Pomp, general manager of Bike Chattanooga, said the sites are an example of what a bike-sharing station will look like. The stations have seven docks for bikes and a terminal that takes credit cards and gives receipts. It also can locate other stations if a particular spot is out of bikes to rent or is full when someone wants to return a bike.

Starting next week, prospective bikers will be able to have questions answered and test-drive the bikes under supervision, Pomp said, while the full system will launch in the spring.

When fully launched, the system will have 30 stations and 300 bicycles in the downtown Chattanooga area.

People can pay to become yearly or daily members and borrow and return bicycles from any of the stations, with no additional fees if the trip is less than an hour.

"It has the convenience of being a pedestrian with the mobility of a vehicle," he said.

The Scenic City will become the first city in the Southeast with a full-scale bike transit system, said Stefanie deOlloqui, associate director of Chattanooga's Active Living and Transportation Network.

"The more people who can see it ahead of time, the better," deOlloqui said.

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