CLINTON — A pilot bike-sharing program will conclude soon for the 2018 year with additions to the program expected as soon as next year.
Ames-based Cygnet Bike Share last year entered an agreement to deliver approximately 20 bicycles to be dispersed among several different hubs around Clinton. The deal between the city of Clinton and Cygnet was the first in the state of Iowa. The docking stations for the bikes are Fifth Avenue South/First Street, Eagle Point Park, the Lyons District, the Lyons Business and Technology Park, near the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre and near the Clinton Marina. Local businesses and community partners can sponsor the bikes. Decals near the front and rear of the lightweight two-wheelers will be placed on the bikes for those sponsoring the bikes.
The bike share program was officially unveiled in April. Clinton Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Mary Seely said the pilot program will end this year shortly due to issues with bells and upgrades needed to the app, which is used to rent the bicycles. She said the CVB does not have control over fixing the app but expects improvements will be made to the app for next year.
"We unveiled the program in April," Seely said. "But we're about ready to take them off for the year. There was an issue with the bells and we'll be pulling them shortly for the year."
The bike share program currently has more than 20 bicycles available, and is hoping to have more available in future years, and at more locations. Seely said there are approximately nine to 12 bicycles used daily, stating she is happy the community embraced the program. Seely said the goal in future years is to have the program available from April to October.
"We want to have the program available until we have snow," Seely said. "It's frustrating for the residents but we're working with the company to get all that fixed. We're a test market and have been finding bugs to be worked on. There's good and bad to it (being a test market)."
Bikes are available for $8 for three hours and $24 for the day. A geo-tracker and app are connected to the bike to keep track of its location. The CVB compared this bike-sharing program with others, deciding to price the bike rental on the lower end of the spectrum for optimum use.
Users of the bike share program download an app on their phone, allowing them to lock and unlock the back wheel of the bike. Riders also are able to physically lock the bikes from their phone with a touch of the button, which will lock up the wheels. This feature ensures the security of the bikes if riders decide to stop somewhere with the bikes for an extended period of time.