Twin Cities bike rental program renewed
A bicycle rental program aimed at low-income adults is growing in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. With an additional $110,000 in federal funds, the Community Partners Bike Library hopes to supply 200 adults with bikes - 50 more than last year when the program began.
The volunteer-run bike shop Sibley Bike Depot in St. Paul created the library with a $193,000 grant from Bike Walk Twin Cities, itself a beneficiary of a $22 million federal pilot program to increase walking and bicycling in the Twin Cities. In early April, bike library organizers learned they'll receive another $110,000 in funding for 2012, in addition to funding for this year, according to Minnesota Public Radio.
Participants in the program receive a bike for six months, helmet, bicycle lock and must attend a two-hour safety training class. The program also provides bicycle maintenance classes and coordinates group rides.
In its first year, 30 percent of the bicycles were not returned, program director Claire Stoscheck said, but that was expected. "Honestly, I'm very impressed with how many came back, considering it's a complete honor system," she said. "I just think it shows how good people are and how people really care about their community."
The bicycles have odometers to track the number of miles they're ridden. Riders are forming teams that compete for prizes that will go to those who log the most miles this season.
Participants who ride their bikes at least once a week and take car of them have the option to buy the bikes at a discount.
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