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Friday, August 8, 2014

Albany Bikeshare Starts Saturday

Following Bike Shares in Troy, Saratoga Springs, and Schenectady, the city of Albany will have one starting this weekend.

I saw the sign up table for the bike share in Troy and it seemed like an easy, straight forward process. You look over some information, sign up, and just follow the instructions of the person at the information table. You can also sign up online.

I really wanted to rent one but I just never got to it. Maybe I'll try to do it in Albany this coming week.

From talking with folks in Troy, it sounds like it's been pretty popular. It'd be great if it became a regular offering, along with this car share in Albany.

At least Mayor Lou got a chance to do it while it was in the Collar City.

From the press release:

 The City of Albany’s Bikeshare Week will begin on Saturday, August 9th and run through Friday, August 15th. There will be 25 bicycles available for use between 10am and 8pm at the following locations:
  • Washington Park (near the intersection of Hudson Ave and Washington Park Rd)
  • Lark Street (between Washington and Madison Avenues)
  • Tricentennial Square in Downtown Albany (on Broadway between Steuben and Columbia Streets)
Mayor Kathy M. Sheehan, who will kick off the City’s Bike Share Week with a bike ride around Washington Park starting at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday morning said, “We are excited to participate in the Capital Region Bikeshare Program pilot, and encourage residents of Albany to get out and enjoy a free bikeride with us.  As a bicycling and City of Albany enthusiast, for me it’s about the destination and the ride!  I am looking forward to seeing more people on two wheels in our amazing City.”
Starting Saturday, August 9 at 10:00 a.m. through Tuesday, August 12 at 8 p.m., staff members will be located at the Washington Park location to assist with sign-up for users and give a quick tutorial on how the program and bikes operate.
From Wednesday-Friday, August 13-15, the sign-in table will be located at Tricentennial Square. Users may also preregister online at  Participants who pre-register will still need to visit the check-in table before using a bicycle. Once registered, you will receive an ID number allowing access to the bikes for the rest of the week. Bike helmets will be offered to all participants courtesy of Albany PAL and Albany Bike Rescue.
There is no cost to participate, although a credit card will need to be on file as security for the bikes.  More information, including a map of locations and a self-guided tour of Downtown Albany, are available here.
This week is part of a month-long Capital Region Bikeshare Month pilot program which runs from July 10th to August 15th 2014 sponsored by the Capital District Transportation Committee (CDTC).  The Cities of Schenectady, Troy, and Saratoga Springs took part each with a week of free bikeshare.  CDTC selected Buffalo BikeShare to provide the bikes and staff. 
“This bikeshare pilot program is a great opportunity for people to check out what bikeshare is and see how it can improve their ability to get around the Capital City,” said Kate Lawrence, Sustainability Planner for the City of Albany.
"We are excited to demo this bike sharing system in the Capital Region", says Anders
Gunnersen, Director of Buffalo BikeShare. "In Buffalo, BikeShare is quickly becoming an integral part of the livening urban scene, with a strong positive response from university students, city residents, and local businesses."
CDTC is the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization carrying out Federal requirements for cooperative transportation planning and programming in the four county Capital District area. CDTC hopes to gauge interest in bikesharing regionally. Participants are asked to complete a short survey, and data on bicycle usage and trip locations will be compiled for each City. CDTC’s Capital Moves program provides information specific to the region to encourage transportation by transit, carpool, vanpool, and of course by bicycle.
Buffalo BikeShare has operated for over 2 years, putting Buffalo on the map as one of the first bikesharing cities to utilize “Social Bicycle” (SOBI) brand bicycles that feature state-of-the-art GPS driven on-board technology.


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