El Paso City Council gears up for bike share program


POSTED: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 - 5:15pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 - 9:03pm

A three-pronged promise to improve the health of El Pasoans, the environment, and boost the local economy takes form in a freshly approved bike share program. City Council just unanimously voted to front $100,000 to the $2,000,000 program.

El Paso City Council got the wheels of a new bike share program spinning. "It's a great program and it, like I said, it self-funds itself, which is the important part. So we don't have any further commitments,” Mayor Oscar Leeser of El Paso said.

The City Development Department said this program also promises to improve the quality of life in the Sun City.

"We really want to make it easier for people to get out of their cars, onto bikes, and moving around downtown,” Marissa Monroy, the City Development Coordinator told us. Different stations will be located throughout downtown and other parts of El Paso. "Also at UTEP, also at transfer centers, whether that be in the Lower Valley, Dyer, all along the RTS route,” Monroy said.

UTEP is also pumping $24,000 to the project.

Tony Petta with The Bicycle Company store also believes this project is right on track.

"We think it'd be great to get people into cycling…We're actually hoping that it will help our business. Because maybe people are going to want to do that after they commute or whatever,” Petta said.

In terms of liability, the program will run like a car rental. For instance, if a bicyclist breaks the bike or gets in an accident they assume all responsibility and when it comes to protecting themselves that will also be up to the cyclist. Although the city will be providing bicycles, they won't be providing helmets so purchasing one will be at your own discretion.

"It would be a more expensive, a more expensive program. And also, it would be really difficult to provide helmets for everyone,” Monroy explained.

If the regional mobile authority approves council's move on Wednesday, we could see bike share stations as early as next year.

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