Columbus bike-share program unveiled; first drop off stations named

Columbus bike-share program unveiled; first drop off stations named
Published: May. 17, 2017 at 3:50 AM EDT|Updated: May. 17, 2017 at 4:18 PM EDT
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Columbus, GA (WTVM) -  Julio Portillo and Bicycle Columbus believe this will put the Fountain City on the same level as major cities across the country.

"Seattle, New York, Miami, Atlanta," he said. "And now we'll be joining those cities."

The grand unveiling was underway Tuesday of a new bike-share program made available for all citizens and tourists to experience what Columbus has to offer.

In the near future, riders will get to check out one of these models for free up to 30 minutes from three stations - two in Uptown, one in Midtown.

"We're connecting Midtown to Uptown to the minimum grid," Portillo said. "We have some of the best trails, great commuter bike lanes, and connectivity is one of the things the city's working hard to do."

Portillo, the nonprofit group, and supporters like Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson, hope this project attracts young professionals, and at the same time, improve the overall quality of life in the city.

"People want to live in cities that have this kind of vibrancy, this kind of hip vibe to it," Tomlinson said. "You actually see young people choosing to live in Columbus because we do these kinds of things."

All this happening during the 7th annual Ride with the Mayor, and Bicycle Columbus thanks Tomlinson for her continued support of cycling. 

"It was through her efforts that we became a bicycle-friendly community," Portillo said." "And through her efforts, we have been able to double the bike lanes from last year to this year."

Tomlinson said she'll continue to advocate for bike access for all citizens regardless of economic circumstance.

"Cycling is really becoming part of our transportation grid," she said. 

"People, you will see them riding to school, riding to Columbus State, they're riding to work. Whereas before, that was bizarre, now it's becoming more and more normal. In fact, in the very near future, we're going to see a whole lot more of it."

Portillo also said Bicycle Columbus will fund the program using donations from sponsors and others, operating without funds from the city budget.

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