Plans for bike-share program in New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)–Maybe you’ve seen them in the bigger cities, like Boston and New York. Bike share programs are becoming popular with residents and tourists alike.

Now, New Haven is in the planning phases to bring a bike share program to the Elm City. Department of Transportation Director Dog Hausladen says there are more bikers than ever taking to the streets of New Haven.

“I used to know every single cyclist that commuted,” Hausladen said. “No longer can you even possibly know a tenth of the people that are commuting.”

New Haven has been making strides in becoming more biker-friendly.

“Last year, we were awarded the Bronze Bicycle Community award. So that shows we’ve come a long way,” Hausladen said.

Still, the city’s goal is to be rated gold, and it hopes a bike share program will help make that happen.

“As a community, we feel now that we have better infrastructure to actually get more people onto bikes, and to do that through a bike share system,” he said.

There are new bike lanes and bike racks downtown. Many garages have designated bike parking areas. Mike Chenier has been riding his bike downtown for years, and he loves the changes.

“You got more and more and more cars, might as well go to bikes. It’s a lot easier,” he said.

Bike share will have pick-up and drop-off locations throughout the city.

“[Locations will be] at the parking authority, at the Temple Street Garages, Crown Street Garages, as well as the two train stations we have in downtown New Haven,” said Hausladen.

You’ll also see them outside of some hotels and businesses.

“You rent by the hour, by the day, by the weekend or by the year or by the month,” said Hausladen.

Right now, the city says it is talking to bike share operators and asking them to submit their best ideas. They are looking at zero to no cost start-up options as well as grants to help fund the program. They hope to have the program up and running sometime in 2016.

“Pedal to the metal, full steam ahead, any other metaphor that’s transportation related,” said Hausladen.

Bike share is on its way.

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