TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The Metroparks Toledo board Wednesday morning awarded a contract to Gotcha Bike, LLC, to provide bikes and equipment for a new bike share program in downtown Toledo. Gotcha's bid of $294,500 was selected from three bidders.
Gotcha will operate the bike share under a contract managed by the City of Toledo. Initial plans call for installing 100 bikes and 18 docking stations. The program could be in operation as early as this summer.
Gotcha manufactures its own smart bikes and equipment in Charleston, South Carolina. The bikes can be rented through a smartphone application and paid for online. The user would then receive a code to unlock the bike.
A Transportation Alternatives Program, or TAP, grant will pay for 80 percent of the costs up to $262,760. Additional funds may be raised from sponsors.
Details about the operation of the programs will be agreed upon between the city and Gotcha Bikes.
"This is a great partnership with the Metroparks that will make Toledo more liveable and offer a healthier and more environmentally-friendly option than driving. This is the start of a plan that will be a transportation alternative," Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz said. "Other cities have used bike share programs with great success and this is overdue in Toledo. Successful cities offer these kinds of opportunities for their residents and visitors. Thanks to Metroparks Toledo for helping to make this a reality."
Metroparks was among more than two dozen public and private organizations to express interest in launching a bike share program in the region. The park district agreed to lend its expertise in project management, bidding and grant writing to help get the project going.
The mayor talked about the benefits of a bike share in his recent State of the City address.
"Somebody needed to own this, and if not for the mayor's office raising their hand this would not happen," Scott Savage, president of the Board of Park Commissioners, said.