Suffolk County reviving ride-share program with new vendor PedalShare
Suffolk County will once again have a bike-share program, three months after the company operating it dropped out of its contract.
The county in the coming days is set to relaunch the Bethpage Ride bike-share program under new operator PedalShare, a Southampton-based company that has been running programs in several communities on eastern Long Island.
“Our goal was to expand the program to provide these alternative transportation solutions throughout the county, so when this opportunity came up, it was kind of a no-brainer,” PedalShare co-founder Chris Dimon said.
Bethpage Ride was to resume in April after the dormant winter, but COVID-19 halted those plans. Then in May, operator Zagster Inc. told the county it was pulling out of its contract.
Bethpage Ride, named after sponsor Bethpage Federal Credit Union, was unveiled by the county last September in Hampton Bays and in Babylon and Patchogue villages. A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said 746 members had signed up and about 500 rides were recorded by November.
PedalShare has purchased the 100 bikes from Zagster and taken over the 16 racks in those communities. The company is adding six racks in its own Southampton village locations. Seven spots in the villages of Westhampton Beach and Quogue will be part of the bike system but are not sponsored by Bethpage, said Dimon.
Riders, who must be at least 18, will rent the bikes through an app, paying either $4 per hour or $35 per day, or a $59 annual membership for unlimited one-hour trips.
PedalShare, which Dimon said has 815 users, has a no-cost contract with the county, with the company maintaining the bikes and collecting all revenue.
Bikes will be available at the Babylon, Patchogue and Southampton LIRR train stations, as well as Coopers Beach and Tiana Beach on the East End.
Other municipalities can opt into the program, said Jonathan Keyes, the county’s director of downtown and transit-oriented development. Riverhead Supervisor Yvette Aguiar said the town is “absolutely” still interested in joining. Huntington Town spokeswoman Lauren Lembo said the town is “not going forward” with joining the program.
In a news release, the county said the bike-share program will provide a “critical last-mile connection between transportation hubs, popular destinations, and our vibrant downtown areas” and that one goal is to add bike lanes which will support infrastructure.