Third time charm for St. Pete bike share
It took three tries but it appears that a bike share program is coming to St. Petersburg.
The vote was non-binding, but six City Council members signaled Thursday they supported Mayor Rick Kriseman's $1.5 million bike share proposal.
At a City Hall workshop, the council seemed satisfied with the description of the program, which would start with 300 bikes scattered among 30 stations, mostly in downtown and along Central Avenue.
As in two previous failed efforts, council members questioned using any of the BP settlement money that the city received last year. Council member Jim Kennedy suggested splitting the up-front costs between parking revenue and impact fees paid by developers.
Council member Darden Rice, who has been a steadfast supporter of the idea, said she was "agnostic" where the money came from, as long as the city moved forward.
Transportation Director Evan Mory said staff hoped to have a contract with CycleHop, the bike share vendor that operates Tampa's program, for the council's approval in April. A formal launch would come in the fall, he said.
The lone member to vote against the proposal, Steve Kornell, said he didn't oppose bike share in principle, but believed the city had greater transportation priorities, like widening bike lanes and improving bus service. He also questioned whether the program would benefit southern and western neighborhoods.