Baton Rouge to get nearly $600K in federal funding for BikeShare - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Baton Rouge to get nearly $600K in federal funding for BikeShare Program

Bike racks on LSU's campus (Source: WAFB) Bike racks on LSU's campus (Source: WAFB)
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

The city-parish of Baton Rouge will be receiving almost $600,000 in federal funding for a BikeShare Program, which officials say will increase mobility for residents and create another transportation option in the parish.

The first phase of the BikeShare Program plans to place 510 bikes at 51 stations downtown, at LSU, and Southern University. Phases two and three of the program would expand to place bikes at stations in Mid City and the Baton Rouge Health District.

Officials hope to launch the program in mid-2018 but an official launch date has not yet been announced. Residents will be able to rent bikes through the BikeShare program for about $6 per day or around $75 per year.  

The cost of the first phase is expected to be about $3 million, with the majority of the funding ($2.1 million) coming from corporate sponsorship and revenues from the BikeShare program itself. The program will not be a line item in the state or city-parish budgets. Funding details for second and third phases have not yet been released.

The federal Transportation Alternatives Program is allocating $593,904, which will cover 80% of the city-parish’s cost for the first phase of the BikeShare program. The money will be funneled through the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. The federal money is made available through the federal government’s Transportation Alternatives Program, which pays for alternative transportation projects, like on and off-road pedestrian and bicycle facilities. The city-parish also is contributing a local match of $260,000 set aside last year under former Mayor Kip Holden.

The Baton Rouge Metro Council must authorize Mayor Sharon Weston Broome to enter into an agreement with DOTD. The agreement is scheduled to be introduced during the October 11 Metro Council meeting. A public hearing on the agreement is scheduled for October 25.

The city-parish will use TAP funds to buy a total of 820 bikes and pay for the program’s required technology and docking stations. The funds will also cover five years’ worth of operational costs for phase one of the program.

The Baton Rouge Metro Council must authorize Mayor Sharon Weston Broome to enter into an agreement with DOTD. The agreement is scheduled to be introduced during the October 11 Metro Council meeting. A public hearing on the agreement is scheduled for October 25.

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