Bicycle Advocates Say 'the More the Merrier,' As Peoria Launches Bike Share Program

May 18, 2017

Credit Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

A row of pristine, white bicycles is stationed outside Peoria City Hall, ahead of Friday’s official launch of a bike share service.

The Peoria Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, or Enjoy Peoria, partnered with the company Zagster, Inc. to bring six City Cycle stations to the Peoria area. The program allows riders to rent cruiser bikes on a pay-as-you-go basis or through monthly memberships.

Cyclists and bicycle advocates in Peoria are celebrating the new addition.

“Getting more bikes out in Peoria, and getting more people comfortable riding and sharing the road will actually help infrastructure investment or make a stronger use case and business case for the city,” Bike Peoria President Brent Baker said.

Credit Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

Bike Peoria is a non-profit that advocates for bike-friendly measures and helps get bicycles to those who can't afford them. Baker says increasing the number of cyclists on the road will help bring attention to the needs of the local bike community, like added bike lanes or buffers in congested areas.

“Any time that you can accommodate different modes of transport in more dense urban sectors, you’ll see positive results both economically and socially,” Bike Peoria President Brent Baker said.

Aside from the obvious benefits, like exercise and reduced carbon emissions, Baker says biking is empowering because it doesn't cost anything and allows people to view their cities from a different angle.

The City Cycle ribbon cutting is scheduled to begin Fri. at 10:00am outside City Hall.

The cruiser bicycles feature eight gears, automatic lights, a bell and a front basket. City Cycle has a corresponding website and app that show bike station locations and availability.

Zagster has bike share services in cities across the US and Canada. The company says it estimates that each bike share ride in Minneapolis added $7-14 to the local economy.