The City of Tucson announced this week that the preliminary phases of implementing a bike share program in town are under way. Although the above picture is actually an artist's depiction of what it would look like to get bike share bikes at major transit hubs such as the Mercado San Agustin Sun Link stop, the planning phases of the bike share project are real and have begun.
According to a statement from the city's transportation department (TDOT), an initial system planning document, which includes maps of both a station phasing plan and proposed station locations for the initial phases, is being released to show where potential riders can expect potential bike share locations. The locations were planned as a result of a months-long survey on the TDOT website. and technical analysis done as a part of the Public Bicycle Share Feasibility Study and Implementation Plan. TDOT's City Bike/Pedestrian Coordinator Ann Chanecka says over 300 suggested locations were submitted by the public in the survey.
Phases 1 and 2 of the program will include outposts along the streetcar link and in the "denser urban core of Tucson." Phase 3 will build upon those two phases, with six total phases suggesting spots along the Rillito River Path, and in south, east and southeast Tucson.
Although exact details on price and official release date are not yet available, a business plan for the project will be released this summer. Chanecka says if all of the funding goes through as planned, TDOT hopes to launch the program this year. The city is seeking for the program to include both single day access and annual membership options for riders at self-service kiosks, much like the Grid Bike Share program that launched in Phoenix in 2014.
Editor's Note: This piece has been updated to include new information.