St. Pete approves bike share program
It took awhile, but the St. Petersburg City Council finally came around to the idea of a bike share program.
By a 6-2 vote Thursday, the City Council approved spending $1.5 million, including $250,000 in BP settlement funds, to kickstart the short-term rental bike program, which would also offer longer-term memberships. The initial routes would cover downtown and parts of Midtown, Grand Central and other neighborhoods.
CycleHop, which runs Tampa's program, will administer the 300 bikes spread among 30 stations. Company officials said the program should begin by the late summer or early fall.
Steve Kornell and Ed Montanari voted against the proposal. Kornell said the city had more pressing priorities. Montanari questioned the city paying all of the start-up costs.
"It's an expensive way to go," he said.
But most of the council said they were excited for the city to join the ranks of municipalities who have adopted bike shares.
And they welcomed a compromise from Mayor Rick Kriseman, who had originally wanted to use $1 million in BP funds for the bikes.
"I appreciate you hearing my cry of 'Not too much BP money,'" council member Jim Kennedy said.