Indego is about to get bigger.
The city is turning over maintenance and expansion of the bike-share system, which has been looking to grow for a while, to privately owned Bicycle Transit Systems, based in Philadelphia. The company was recently selected for a 10-year concession agreement, said Aaron Ritz, transportation programs manager at the city’s Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability.
“The big thing that people can get excited about is that they’re more likely to have a new Indego station moving into their neighborhood sooner,” Ritz said. “We’ve had way more requests for bike-share stations than we’ve been able to fill.”
The latest plan, coming at no operating cost to the city, needs official approval from City Council. The contract is expected to start in January, with more stations popping up in the middle of next year.
Community input will help determine locations of new stations. A 2018 business plan suggested that Indego “expand in a balanced manner” as well as beef up core areas such as Center City and University City. The business plan set a goal for Indego to grow to more than 250 stations from the current 140 by 2024.
Indego, sponsored by Independence Blue Cross, was launched in 2015 and now has about 1,400 bikes. Its expansion will be gradual over three to four years to at least 3,500 bicycles, said Alison Cohen, Bicycle Transit Systems president and CEO.
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