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Bicycle Sharing Coming to Savannah

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SAVANNAH, GA -

Bike share programs are popping up in major cities all across the country.

And now the movement is rolling into Savannah.

Everywhere you look people are dumping the pump and opting for bicycles instead. So for Ramond Robinson, Chatham Area Transit's Chief Development Officer, offering bicycles just made sense.

"You never know you might see me using bike share to go from meeting to meeting."

The idea is to change the way people think about public transportation. The days from switching from bus to bus are over.

"This is to give people alternative modes of transportation once they get here. It could be you come to the transit center, getting a bike would be quicker than taking another bus or transferring from one bus to another. No breaks at all those stops."

It's good news for the folks at the Savannah Bicycle Campaign. For them bicycling isn't just a mode of transportation, it's a way of life, and it has lots of benefits.

"Its environmental consciousness, it's an interest in a healthier lifestyle, and its economics," says SBC Executive Director John Bennett.

"A study out of Washington shows that people who had a one year membership to their local bike sharing program saved an average of eight-hundred dollars on personal transportation."

Each city runs their program a bit differently.

"In Chattanooga, they have thirty stations and three-hundred bikes. In Spartanburg, they started with two stations and fourteen bikes. I guess the common denominator in what makes these successful is good partners."

Great partners is exactly what Robinson is counting on.

Chatham Area Transit is starting with eight bicycles available for up to a three mile ride or an hour. They are equipped with a GPS and are linked to a credit card in case they go missing. The program is estimated to cost about seventy thousand dollars the first year, but the price for a rental is still up for debate.

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