Brookline Bike-Sharing Program Could Launch This Year
Officials seeking grants to pay for $194K pilot.
Brookline officials are working on a plan to put two bike-sharing stations in Coolidge Corner and Brookline Village this summer at no cost to the town.
The two stations would work in conjunction with approximately 61 stations and 610 bicycles expected to be launch in Boston this spring. Cambridge and Somerville may also join the program.
Brookline officials have applied for local and federal grants that, along with private donations, would cover the $194,000 cost of operating the stations. The town is also expected to receive $5,000 to $7,500 in revenue from the stations as part of its agreement with Boston and the vendor.
Once launched, the stations would allow users to swipe a card and unlock a bike that can be returned at any others stations. Membership rates would range from $5 for one day to $50 for a year, according to a proposal from the Metropolitan Area Planning Council. Members would also pay fees starting at $1.50 for an hour.
The solar-power bike stations would be available for nine months and removed each November or December for winter storage. They would be maintained and operated by the vendor and would not take up any existing parking spaces.
Brookline would own the bicycles on the stations after the three years and could decide what to with them if the town decides not to continue the program, according to Planning Director Jeff Levine.
The pilot would be funded in part through a $3 million Federal Transit Administration grant that would be shared with Boston and other communities. Brookline officials have also applied for a $108,000 grant from the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization.
In a memo to selectmen, Levine said he believed “indications are good” the town would receive the local grant. He said the new funding would mean Brookline would not have to sell advertising on the stations to pay for the program.
Brookline Town Meeting passed a resolution calling on the Board of Selectmen to study bike-sharing opportunities more than a year ago, but Selectwoman Jesse Mermell said the work was put on hold because Boston had pushed back the launch of its pilot program and selected a new vendor.