Fishers' bike-share program to start with training wheels

August 15, 2014
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Fishers expects to roll out a pilot bike-sharing program this month in its downtown Nickel Plate District.

But unlike the Indiana Pacers Bikeshare service, which rents bicycles at 25 stations along the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, the suburban program is starting small—and free.

The initiative is a partnership among the town’s Parks & Recreation and Community Development departments, which came up with $1,800 to buy six durable, single-speed bikes, and not-for-profit Launch Fishers, which lined up sponsors and will administer the program.

Supporters include Fishers-based LoKe Bicycles, the Fritz in Fishers used-car lot and Friaco’s Mexican Restaurant and Cantina.

Riders will be able to check out bicycles at the entrepreneurial-focused coworking space, located on the ground floor of the Hamilton East Public Library. Organizers there are working on a web-based reservation system that will allow borrowers to book bikes and sign liability waivers online.

Buying helmets also is on the to-do list.

Launch members and town staff plan to test the program and work out the kinks before making the service available to the public this fall, said town spokeswoman Autumn Gasior.

“The goal is to promote biking and healthy living in the Nickel Plate District, and provide users with alternative transportation for short trips around the downtown area,” she wrote in an email.

The bright-yellow Jamis Taxi Cruisers are made for bike-share programs, with sturdy comfort seats and handlebars, said Parks Director Tony Elliot. Other colors were available, but he said yellow seemed fitting given the “Taxi” moniker. (Indianapolis’ 250 shared bicycles also are yellow.)

Elliot said the town has been discussing the possibility of a bike-share program for some time, but the pieces just came together recently.

“We’ll see how successful it is and then maybe look to expand,” he said.

Indianapolis Cultural Trail Inc. launched its bike-share program in late April, and last month said riders took nearly 30,000 trips during the first eight weeks.

That service charges $8 for a 24-hour pass and $80 for an annual membership. Members and pass-holders can take unlimited 30-minute trips on the bikes, but longer trips incur additional fees.

  • You ahve got to be kidding me
    Roads so clogged already in the "Nickel Plate District", now we get to look out for bikers??? I think everyone in Fishers who want to ride a bike HAVE a bike and they also already have the helmets too! The monstrosity being built on 116th was bad enough- when will the insanity end?
    • DJ
      Yeah. We should just go back to the gold old days of William Conner and the Native Americans who settled along the banks of the White River. It was a simpler time of outhouses, dirt roads, travel on foot or by canoe. Who needs people and roads and buildings. Pfff.
      • Bikes
        Maybe if more people rode bikes we would have less road congestion with cars. Now we just need all of the bike paths to be connected. Hopefully that plan will be completed in the near future.
      • Fishers Drivers Will Run You Over
        This is a prescription for DISASTER. Northside drivers would rather run you over than stop and slow down. Accidents, injuries, and deaths will increase due to the "distracted driving" by folks going to and from work, soccer moms/dads and pampered non-working wives/husbands. Fishers has absolutely no business wasting time and resources on this. This is an example of a "me too!" type of asset.
      • Great Idea and Fun!
        I think this is a great idea! Those bikes will be used all the time. Hope they have enough! Love they are building out that area, this is a great addition to Fishers and promoting healthy lifestyles. Can't wait!
      • Get Real
        Please stop referring to "downtown" Fishers. There is no "downtown". It is one stretch of one congested street. Hardly a downtown... laughable! And where exactly are people supposed to ride to... Target? Kroger? Marsh? Or maybe that new great anchor (pizza shop) in the Nickel Plate fiasco. What a joke!
      • Farcical Fishers
        I am an all purpose cyclist that lives and works in fishers and I cannot understand for the life of me why this program is anything more than the definition of farce. The geniuses at launch fishers have really outdone themselves on this one. Such programs are most effective, if at all, in areas with bike accessable shopping, education, services and transportation. Moreover, the biking culture here is just not accommodating enough to safely sustain inexperienced cyclists on the road without helmets. Protip: let's force all the elected and unelected employees of Fishers town/city government to cycle to work for a year. I would support that absurd food tax fadness and co proposed if it went towards the creation of bike infrastructure and a bike for each city employee. Maybe these folk can take their rented bikes and take 20 spins around that 1.3 mile bike trail to nowhere they just dropped a few k on.

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