Bike Share programs are becoming an increasingly popular public service, popping up in big cities across the nation. Here in Tampa, Coast Bike Share celebrates its first year in operation, offering a free day of riding. Starting Sunday morning, Pay As You Go riders will have one free hour of ride time on their Coast Bike Share accounts, and new users will be able to sign up at no cost. Coast Bike Share is Tampa’s official bike share program, providing 300 bikes located at 30 hubs across downtown, Ybor City, and Hyde Park. Since the program began one year ago, the system has accumulated 127,000 miles ridden in over 45,000 trips, and has 15,000 active members. Program Director Eric Trull said, “The past year has far surpassed our expectations, and it’s all due to the adoption of the program by our users, locals and visitors alike. Together we’ve transformed the landscape of downtown and how we navigate our city. We wanted to celebrate this victory by giving back to the community that accepted us with open arms.” Coast Bike Share continues to grow in popularity as it improves the mobility of Tampa residents, while cutting down on car trips and pollution.
In addition to Tampa’s Coast Bike Share program, the University of South Florida instituted a bike share program this year, appropriately dubbed “Share-A-Bull.” On September 28, 2015, students, faculty, staff, and administrators gathered at the Marshall Center amphitheater to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony. USF President Judy Genshaft, an avid biker, requested a Share-A-Bull t-shirt before her speech. “I need my green,” she said, before she pulled the shirt over her head and added, “Now I feel better…Go bulls, and I love the green bikes!” Then, the ribbon was snipped. Students cheered and strapped on helmets from the bikes’ baskets, ready to ride them, lock them, leave them-until the next time they need them.