CycleHop's bike share station in Phoenix.
CycleHop’s bike share station in Phoenix.

Atlanta’s bike share program took a big step forward this week after the City Council approved a resolution to begin contract negotiations between the city and vendor CycleHop.  It was previously reported that the bike share program would launch this summer, but is now scheduled for Spring 2015

CycleHop presented the city with a proposal to launch and manage the city’s first bike share program at no cost to taxpayers. The company will partner with Social Bikes and two Atlanta firms, Center Forward and Iconologic, to operate the program. The company is looking to attract corporate sponsors and in the coming months plans to meet with communities and businesses to discuss possible bike rental station locations.

Residents and visitors will have access to rental bikes 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. The GPS-enabled locking system bikes will lock to regular bike racks and those found at hub locations throughout the city.

“Our vision is to have a large bike share system with at least 500 bicycles at 50 stations throughout the city,” said Mike Geisler, Interim Chief Operating Officer. “This program is the latest city initiative designed to augment existing public transportation systems and provide an affordable transportation alternative to driving in the city.”

Social Bicycles is currently launching bike share programs in Phoenix, Tampa, Orlando, Buffalo, San Francisco, and Hamilton, CA. “The SoBi bikes are more affordable and scalable than other technologies, and we hope to quickly spread the program throughout the region,” said Social Bicycles CEO, Ryan Rzepecki.

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.