Bike share is coming to a town near you.
Suffolk County is launching the first-of-its-kind program, with 100 bicycles and 24 stations throughout four communities, including Patchogue and Babylon, thanks to the sponsorship of Bethpage Federal Credit Union.
The program will not only reduce congestion and improve air quality, but it will help solve the critical problem of that last-mile connection when using public transit, allowing residents and visitors to easily access our parks, waterfronts, and other recreational assets.
Residents will be able to go to a nearby train station, park, or downtown and right through an app on their phone have instant access to a comfortable, user-friendly bike.
This will change the mobility landscape in Suffolk, effectively extending the reach of our existing transit system, putting once out-of-reach locations within easy biking distance.
For years, the equation for Long Island life has been one adult equals one car. The freedom to go anywhere with an automobile has turned into the tyranny of not being to go anywhere without one. But now, residents and visitors will be able to comfortably leave their cars behind with the knowledge that a healthy, fun, convenient option is waiting for them.
Users will have the ability to download an app and will either be able to pay per ride or buy a membership. Riders can pay $1 per 15 minutes, but can also opt for a monthly plan for $10 or a yearly plan for $60 per year. Both plans allow for unlimited trips of up to 30 minutes.
Most importantly, bike sharing will improve traffic safety. Bike share programs raise awareness of cyclists on the road, which ultimately leads to improved safety. And once our Hike-Bike Master Plan is complete, we will have a countywide network of both on- and off-road bike paths so that cyclists and pedestrians will be safe when out and about.
Suffolk will continue to be a leader in embracing cutting-edge transportation alternatives and technologies that better connect residents to our vibrant downtowns. We are focused on modernizing our transit and ensuring our residents have efficient and reliable alternative transportation options.
Steve Bellone is the Suffolk County executive.