New York City wants to roll out a bike-sharing program by spring 2012, similar to systems in Washington, D.C., and European cities that allow riders to borrow bicycles any time of the day.
The city Department of Transportation on Tuesday called for proposals from private companies, one of which will operate the program for an initial five years at no cost to taxpayers. They have until Feb. 16 to submit plans.
Robert Steel, deputy mayor for economic development, said introducing more bikes into the city would help to reduce congestion.
The city’s request does not mandate the number of bikes nor which neighborhoods must be included in the program. People should be able to purchase memberships that allow for unlimited 30-minute trips each day. Longer trips would cost an extra fee.