The Syracuse Common Council approved a two-year deal with Gotcha Bike at the end of July to start the city’s bike-share program. The city is also applying for state grant funding to construct more bike lanes.
Councilor Joe Driscoll said pricing was the biggest sticking point for him when deciding to go with Gotcha Bike over the other contenders. Most of the programs were coming in at a $75-$100 annual fee. Gotcha was able to get it closer to $25 a year.
“That influenced a lot of our decisions going with Gotcha, making sure that this was accessible to every citizen in Syracuse," Driscoll said. "$25 a year annually doesn’t seem like an impossible goal for people, even people who are struggling, to be able to afford this bike-share program and be able to bike all over the city.”
Gotcha Bike started operating in Burlington, VT earlier this year with 80 bikes. Driscoll said they plan to implement 150 bikes in Syracuse.
The city is also applying for $350,000 from the state Department of Transportation to add bike lanes on the north side and link them to the existing Connective Corridor, which bridges Syracuse University to downtown. They would also connect to the upcoming New York Empire State Trail, a 750-mile, multi-use route for pedestrians and cyclists stretching from New York City to Canada and Albany to Buffalo.
The location of bike-sharing stations in Syracuse still has to be determined. The program could start this fall. A public meeting on the bike-share program will be held next week.