Harrisburg offers free bike-share pilot program

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – There’s a way to get around Harrisburg on two wheels. Harrisburg’s trial bike-share program is underway to early success.

Rapidly growing among the downtown hustle and bustle of cars and pedestrians are those riding bicycles. Some of those bikes are a uniformed silver-and-blue.

“It’s been great,” said Todd Vander Woude. “We’ve had people coming by just about every day to check a bike out.”

Vander Woude said September proved to be a good start for the Downtown Improvement District’s “bike library” pilot program. At least five bikes have been donated by the non-profit Recycle Bicycle, where people can check them out, just like books, for free.

“You can have it for as long as you’d like,” Vander Woude said. “You get a lock and a helmet along with it, so if you want to stop somewhere, lock it up  – and just bring it back when you’re done.”

The bikes can be picked up between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. inside the Downtown Improvement District office at 2nd and Walnut streets. They just ask you show a driver’s license or photo identification.

There are about 500 cities in America that have a bike share program; most notably in Minneapolis, New York City, and Philadelphia. Harrisburg’s bike share program is a first for the Midstate.

“We see the demand here for people to get out on bikes,” Vander Woude said.

If that demand continues, non-profits like BikeShareHBG and Harrisburg Young Professionals are looking into securing funding for a permanent rental bike share program.

The program could offer discounts for low-income workers to provide transportation throughout the city. Vander Woude said the current free program has been good for tourists and residents alike who just want to tour the Capital City on two wheels for a day.

“Even going here up to Broad Street Market, from here to the Greenbelt, or here to City Island,” he said. “As we go along, I think it’s even going to grow further.”

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