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Boise Bike Share Gears up for Rollout

Bikes could be on the streets as early as April

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In September 2014, Boise Bike Share Program Director Dave Fotsch dropped by BWHQ to show off a demo bike. It had three speeds, a dynamo drive, a cushy seat and a rollout date of sometime before Treefort Music Fest (March 25-29, 2015). Now, its launch is being delayed by a massive dock workers lockout that has stalled overseas imports.

Fotsch and Boise Bike Share—a program that would put bike rental stations across downtown Boise—have faced setbacks before: at a meeting of the Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho in 2013, members of the Ada County Highway District reallocated $326,000 in FY2015 funding that would have gone to the program.

Still, Fotsch said he expects to see bikes hit the streets sometime in April, but "right now, the bikes are on a boat coming from China."

That's the bad news. The good news is, BW has obtained a mockup of the new bikes. They will be painted Saint Luke's blue and Select Health green, the colors of BBS' corporate sponsors, and they'll be emblazoned with the program's new name: "Boise GreenBike." BGB is now looking to rent space downtown to house repair and maintenance operations and will interview applicants for an open service manager position (the position closes Friday, Feb. 20).

Now, Fotsch is "geotagging" kiosk and station locations, logging them with the GPS tracking devices that will be affixed to each bike. The idea is to charge patrons extra for parking the bikes at non-geotagged areas like bike racks and fences. Meanwhile, the number of kiosks where users can rent bikes has doubled from five to 10, thanks to approximately $57,000 in funding from the city. Bikes will be parked at 14 stations around the downtown Boise area.

Despite the obstacles, Fotsch still has optimism—and a sense of humor—about BGB Year 1. His goal for 2015 is to see riders make 25,000 unique trips using BGB bikes to match the number of trips taken on GREENBikes in Salt Lake City.

"We should be able to reach that number if we roll out by September," Fotsch joked.