The University of Idaho and city of Moscow recently announced they will be teaming with Gotcha Mobility to start a one-year dockless bicycle share pilot program in town.
Even though the project will come with a $45,000 price tag - which the city and university will split - we feel it is a worthwhile investment, as it will promote connectivity between the UI campus and downtown, while also getting cars off the road and easing parking congestion. After the initial cost, Gotcha would be responsible for maintenance, repairs and placement of the bikes.
The program is expected to be rolled out April 1, with 50 pedal-assisted electric bicycles - or e-bikes - being placed strategically throughout campus and Moscow. E-bikes are bicycles with a battery-powered assist that comes via pedaling, making traversing hills an ease. The program has already been implemented at Washington State University, where 11 e-bike docking stations are located.
"The e-bikes are exciting for us because the topography is a big impediment to a lot of people," Tyler Palmer, Moscow deputy director of operations for public works, told the Daily News. "We don't have the hills like Pullman has, but we do have hills."
The program is simple - register for an account, head to a docking station, unlock a bike, do your business, and return the bike to a station.
Those with a UI email address will be allowed to ride at no cost for 30 minutes per day. After 30 minutes, they will be required to pay $0.10 per minute. Community members will be able to pay the same $0.10 per minute or purchase passes.
So, for community members, a 10-minute ride will cost a dollar - considerably cheaper than paying for parking on campus or a cab ride, and all without the hassle of trying to find a parking space.
Sounds like a good deal to us.