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At a news conference held earlier today, community leaders announced that the required $1 million in capital funding has been secured to launch a bike share program in Greater Downtown Dayton in 2015.
Funds for the program are the result of strong community collaboration between partner organizations and a network of cycling advocates from Bike Miami Valley who spearheaded the initiative. This bike share planning group has secured the capital funding through the Federal Highway Administration Surface Transportation Program and designed an operational model for the project. The City of Dayton has committed to providing the full local match for the capital.
"The City of Dayton continues to advance as a bike-friendly community. We are pleased to announce our $250,000 contribution, which will provide matching funds and some initial operational funding support," said Mayor Nan Whaley, a longtime proponent of the community benefits of cycling.
Bike sharing offers several economic, livability, transportation, environmental and health benefits to the businesses, employees and residents in downtown Dayton and surrounding neighborhoods. Bike share programs add to urban vibrancy, are highly desired by young professionals, and greatly improve the connectivity of existing public transit by completing the "last mile" between a transit stop and a user's final destination.
Across the U.S., more than 25 cities of various sizes have launched bike share transportation systems. Dayton's bike share program will feature 22 strategically located stations, all within an approximate two mile radius of downtown Dayton. Each station will contain six to 10 bikes, totaling more than 200 bikes in the system. Customers -- who range from one-day users to annual subscribers -- unlock the bikes and may ride to any other station or back to the original location at the end of their trip.
The Greater Dayton RTA will maintain the bike share equipment and balance the distribution of bikes across the station network. Bike Miami Valley will have staff to oversee customer memberships, sponsorship outreach, organizational partnerships, and marketing and promotions. The Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission (MVRPC) will provide additional support, including office space for bike share staff. Combined, these partnerships will lower the annual bike share operational costs by more than $135,000 each year.
"Advancing Dayton's cycling culture is an important strategy in the Greater Downtown Dayton Plan," said Dr. Michael Ervin, DDP Co-Chair. "Organizational partnerships have been crucial to the establishment of a viable strategy for Dayton's bike share program, and they are a testament to the community's enthusiasm for this initiative."
"The role of alternative transportation modes -- such as bike share -- in enriching their communities is extremely important, and our own bike share program will enable Dayton to keep pace with similar cities who already enjoy the benefits of bike share," added Brian Martin, Executive Director of MVRPC.
Dayton's bike share program will offer numerous opportunities for partnerships via sponsorship of bike share stations and bicycles, as well as corporate membership programs. Stakeholders estimate that the program will be fully functional by the spring of 2015. Partner organizations for Dayton Bike Share include the City of Dayton, Greater Dayton RTA, MVRPC, Bike Miami Valley, Downtown Dayton Partnership,Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, Montgomery County, Five Rivers MetroParks and the Dayton/Montgomery County Public Health Department.