Greenwood has built more than 20 miles of trails so pedestrians can move safely to all corners of the city.
Now, the city is providing a way to bicycle every inch of those pathways, even if you don’t own a bike.
The Greenwood Parks and Recreation launched its bicycle rental program, BIKEiT, on Friday at the Greenwood Community Center. Eight cruiser-style bikes are available to rent for as little as $1, with people free to ride them for up to eight hours.
Parks officials envision the program as a way to get more people outdoors, stay active and help promote the trail system at the same time, said parks superintendent Rob Taggart.
“What better way to do that than to get people fit and people active on a bicycle?” he said. “It’s a great way to see the city, and it promotes fitness as well.”
On Friday morning, the bicycles were stationed outside the community center, locked to a rack and ready to use.
People interested in renting a bike are asked to start the process inside the community center, where they’ll sign a waiver.
The bike-share program is open to anyone, though costs are less for Greenwood residents and members of the community center. For example, a community center member can rent a bicycle for $1 for 30 minutes or less, or $7 for the full day.
Nonresidents would have to pay $3 for 30 minutes or less, or $9 for a full day.
Helmets are strongly encouraged though not required, Taggart said. The community center will not rent out helmets but will have some for sale.
With the paperwork filed, renters are handed a key, provided a trail map and are free to start cycling.
“They can go out and enjoy for as long as their allotted time is,” Taggart said.
The community center is only open Monday through Saturday, which would mean that rentals would be unavailable Sunday. But the parks department is hoping to expand the program to the city’s new aquatic center, Freedom Springs, Taggart said.
The BIKEiT program was made possible through a $4,000 grant from the Johnson County Community Foundation. The Greenwood parks department presented their proposal to the foundation in 2014, which thoroughly supported the concept.
Part of the excitement stemmed from the Indiana Pacers Bikeshare program, which launched in 2014 in downtown Indianapolis. More than 250 bicycles are available to rent, and in the first year, more than 28,000 one-day rentals were taken out.
“I work downtown, and I’ve seen how it’s been wildly popular,” said Seth Perigo, a member of the community foundation board who sat on the grant committee. “People are getting around, they’re being more sociable, they’re riding in groups and increasing exercise. It seemed like a good, fun thing to do.”
With the emphasis on supporting the parks system and increasing physical fitness, it was a natural fit for the foundation to help bring something similar to Greenwood, Perigo said.
“If you think about what we do as a whole, we want to help organizations but we also want to spread good projects across the county,” he said.
Since the Greenwood bike-sharing program was announced last year, residents and parks visitors have been asking when the bicycles will be available, Taggart said. The hope is that if it’s successful, more bikes can be added.
“We’ve gotten a lot of comments from people. People are enthusiastic about using this and getting on the trails,” Taggart said.
What: A new bicycle-rental program at the Greenwood Community Center that allows people to rent a bike for up to eight hours.
Where to find them: 100 Surina Way, outside the community center
- Community center members: $1 for 30 minutes or less; $4 for a half-day; $7 for the full day.
- City residents: $2 for 30 minutes or less; $5 for a half-day; $8 for the full day.
- Nonresidents: $3 for 30 minutes or less; $6 for a half-day; $9 for the full day.
How to sign up: Go to the front desk at the community center, where you will be asked to sign a waiver and pay for the time you want to rent the bicycle. Helmets are not required but encouraged.
Where to ride: Renters will get a map highlighting some of the trails or routes they can take. But people can take the bikes anywhere they want, as long as they bring it back to the community center in the allotted time.