The bike-sharing program being launched in the Capital Region's four main cities should start around the beginning of August, a Capital District Transportation Authority representative said Wednesday.
The 160 bikes that the program will start with have arrived and are being stored in Albany while work on the needed computer software program is being finished, said CDTA spokesman Jaime Watson.
"We're looking at the last week in July or the first week in August," Watson said following a CDTA board meeting in Albany. The bike rental kiosks, where people will use credit cards or electronic accounts to pay to borrow a bike, will be installed a few doors? before, she said.
The authority earlier this month announced the locations of 40 planned rental kiosks, including seven in Schenectady and four in Saratoga Springs.
"The enthusiasm around this is something we really haven't seen before," said CDTA CEO Carm Basile. "I can't tell you how many calls I get from elected officials, business leaders, citizens, looking for a station."
The launch of the bike rentals has been in the works for about two years.
CDTA last year selected Social Bicycles of Brooklyn, which runs bike-share services in other cities -- to operate the system. A $2 million, five-year U.S. Department of Transportation congestion mitigation grant is paying to get the bike-share program off the ground, and a $2 million state grant will allow it to expand to 300 bicycles in 2018.
The CDPHP health care plan has been signed as a corporate sponsor, and is helping with social media and advertising.
Under a bike-share program, people can rent a bicycle within a network of self-service stations, returning it to the same station or another within the network. Social Bicycles will provide the specialized bicycles and maintain them, and handle day-to-day operation of the network. Pricing for the Capital Region system has yet to be announced.
The launch is coming amid a growing general interest in bicycling.
Schenectady is in the process of developing a bike infrastructure master plan for the city, which is already connected to the Erie Canal and Mohawk-Hudson regional bike trails. A progress update will be presented from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday in the McChesney Room at the Schenectady Public Library central branch on Clinton Street.
The draft plan, developed by Alta Planning and Design of Saratoga Springs and LandArt Studio of Schenectady, may be reviewed at www.schenectadybikeplan.weebly.com.