Coast Bike Share gets underway with a new, inexpensive way to get around town

Bike initiative to hit Tampa

TAMPA - New wheels are heading to Downtown Tampa!  We're not talking new cars, not new public transit buses, but rather, new bikes!

"After being in Washington [D.C.] and New York and some of the major cities in America and seeing this work, we said, we had to do it here in Tampa," says Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn.

Mayor Buckhorn says it's time to really make Tampa a live, work, play community.

"We're starting with Downtown Tampa, Hyde Park and Ybor City.  Hopefully, we will expand into places like Westshore and Seminole Heights and to other parts of the community," says Mayor Buckhorn.

It's called Coast Bike Share.  The theory behind it?  An easy and inexpensive way to move around town on the blue beach cruisers.

Payments will be taken at 30 kiosks for more than 300 bikes in and around the Downtown Tampa area.  If you love technology, there is also an app for that, just search CoastBikeShareOnce.  When it goes live, you will be able to pick a bike, plug in its identification number and pay that way.  Its very similar to paying for parking in Downtown Tampa.

"A visitor can join in at $5 an hour, $30 a month, or $80 a year," says Eric Shaw with Coast Bicycle Share.

Shaw says it's also cost effective.  If you grab a bike and don't use your entire hour, you can carry your time over through midnight of that day!

It's been a baby, literally nine months in the making, but now a reality Mayor Buckhorn says is on a roll!

While an exact date was not given, organizers say the kiosks are set to open for business this Spring.

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