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Kevin Acklin (Courier File Photo)

Kevin Acklin (Courier File Photo)

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ Pittsburgh’s Bike Share program is averaging 12,000 rides per month since the program began in July.

That’s exceeding expectations, said David White, the executive who heads Pittsburgh Bike Share. The nonprofit operates the bike-sharing program known as Healthy Ride Pittsburgh.

“Users are overwhelmingly supportive,” White told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (http://bit.ly/1LaZNhJ ). “We’ve had a lot of people use the bikes to get to after-school activities. We have university students using the bikes. We have people who use the bikes during lunch downtown.”

The program has 500 rental bikes at 50 stations in 11 of the city’s neighborhoods. People can rent the bikes for $2 per half-hour, or by purchasing a membership for unlimited 30-minute rides for $12 a month or unlimited $60-minute rides for $20 a month.

Users must register with a phone number and zip code. That information indicates people from across the country, and even outside it, have used the bikes.

“It’s a whole new mode of transportation that didn’t exist in the city,” said Kevin Acklin, spokesman for Mayor Bill Peduto, who pushed for the program. “I think the usage has been tremendous.”

White said only one bike has gone missing despite a wireless system used to track them. A few riders have experienced problems with docking bicycles at the automated stations, but there have been few other problems.

The program is also operating within its budget, but White refused to provide specifics until it’s been operating for about a year. The program is going to monitor bike use as the weather turns colder to determine whether it’s practical to continue the program year-round.

The program used a $1.6 million grant from the Federal Highway Administration to buy the equipment and cover other startup costs. The city and Bike Share are covering the program’s costs with rider fees and $1.2 million from charitable foundations.

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Information from: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, http://pghtrib.com

 

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