The Indianapolis Cultural Trail could offer bike sharing in the near future, as the city is prepared to award $1.5 million in federal funds to Wisconsin-based B-Cycle LLC.
The city's Board of Public Works will consider awarding the grant to B-Cycle at its meeting on Wednesday. The company offers bike sharing in 16 cities, including the Midwestern cities of Des Moines, Iowa, and Kansas City, Mo.
A Department of Public Works spokeswoman said B-Cycle would be awarded $1 million in federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality funds, but could spend up to $1.5 million to install the stations and purchase bikes. Any excess spending would be covered by the Indianapolis Cultural Trail Inc., a private not-for-profit entity that's supposed to raise money for maintaining the 8-mile path.
ICT Inc. and the public works department issued a request for proposals in December 2011 with the goal of launching the bike-sharing service by fall of 2012. The Cultural Trail held its grand opening in May.
The request for proposals anticipated 24 stations with 300 bikes either along the trail or within one block of it., but it's unclear how many B-Cycle, based in Waterloo, Wis., will install.
B-Cycle allows users to buy short-term and long-term memberships online or 24-hour passes at its stations. The stations operate with electronic locks, and the bikes can be released with a swipe of a pass card or through the adjoining payment kiosk.