TAMPA — After more than two years of work, Tampa's Coast Bike Share program has scheduled a launch for its charter members on Nov. 17 and for everyone else on Dec. 7.
"It look longer than we had hoped, but I'd rather do it right than hurry it," Mayor Bob Buckhorn said Monday.
Starting Nov. 17, Coast customers who have paid $99 for a founding membership will be able to check out one of the 300 sky-blue bikes from 30 hubs around downtown, Ybor City, Hyde Park and the Channel District.
On Dec. 7, Coast will open the program to everyone with a 10 a.m. kickoff at Water Works Park and an escorted ride through downtown.
Designed by Social Bicycles of New York City, Coast's bikes have three speeds, GPS technology and a mobile app that tracks riders' time pedaling, mileage, carbon offsets and gas savings.
Coast Bike Share is selling founding memberships, which cost $99 and come with 90 minutes of daily ride time, a helmet and the early access to the bikes, at CoastBikeShare.com. That sale will run through Dec. 6.
Standard memberships, which will be on sale Dec. 7, will come with 60 minutes of daily riding time and cost $5 per day, $30 per month or $79 per year.
Members will be able to use a mobile app — app.socialbicycles.com — and a credit card to reserve a bike. They'll enter a four-digit PIN code on the bike's built-in keypad to unlock the bike and begin riding.
When riders want to stop, they can press a "HOLD" button and use the lock that comes with the bike. Later, they can unlock the bike with their PIN and resume riding.
Coast organizers expect trips to average about 14 minutes each. Riders who go over the daily allotment of riding time will be charged $2.50 for each additional half-hour, up to $25.