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  1. Transportation

Bike share program kick-starts in St. Petersburg


St. Petersburg is offering residents another way to navigate its busy downtown streets. The Coast Bike Share Program rolled out Tuesday with 100 green demo bikes spread across 10 hubs along the city's waterfront and Central Avenue corridor, according to the company's website.

The program, which also operates in Tampa, is part of an attempt to relieve some of the region's traffic woes and to give downtown workers, students and visitors a new way to get around.

The demo system opened midday Tuesday to coincide with the launch of the Cross-Bay Ferry, a trial system that will carry passengers between downtown Tampa and St. Petersburg over the next six months.

A single bike share membership, which costs $15 per month for rides up to an hour each day and $20 per month for 90 minutes of daily ride time, will allow ferry passengers to hop on a bike on both ends of the trip. Customers can also pay as they go and rent bikes at $8 per hour.

Coast Bikes plans to expand the St. Petersburg fleet to 300 blue city-owned bikes shortly after New Year's across more than 30 stations in downtown and nearby neighborhoods.

There also is a $79 annual pass for an hour of ride time per day, and a student rate of $59.

The company is offering founding annual memberships through the end of the year that cost $99 for 90 minutes of ride time per day.