Bike sharing returns to Ithaca

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New electric bicycles were purchased with a $50,000 grant from the City of Ithaca. (Megan Zerez/WSKG)

New electric rental bicycles hit street corners in Ithaca last week.

It’s part of a local electric bike-share program operated by Center for Community Transportation, or CCT, an Ithaca based non-profit. 

The bikes can be unlocked via a mobile app called Ithaca Bike Share. It costs a dollar to unlock a bicycle and 15 cents per minute to ride. Users can also purchase a day pass for $20.

The Ithaca Common Council voted unanimously to allow a bike-share program to operate in the city for the first time since March 2020.

CCT agreed to cover all maintenance and operation costs for the program. The non-profit is also responsible if rental bikes block pedestrian or car traffic in the city.

In a separate agreement, the city provided $50,000 to the non-profit to help purchase the first bicycles for the fleet. 

For now, the bikes can only be used within city limits. Ithaca College, which is in the town of Ithaca, has not yet reached an agreement with CCT to allow the bikes on-campus, according to the student newspaper The Ithacan.

Bike rental company Lime Bike previously offered a bike-share program in Ithaca. The company pulled up stakes from the city in 2020, citing pandemic concerns.

You can read the full Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Ithaca and the Center for Community Transportation here