A big part of the Daybreak plan has always been to provide flexible transportation options, and we continue to seek ways to add new ones all the time. The overall trail system throughout the community is getting close to 50 miles now, and TRAX will begin service in the summer of 2011.
So, in cooperation with Rio Tinto, the University of Utah, UDOT and others, we are exploring the possibility of a valley-wide bike share program for Salt Lake County. The program could be modeled after other programs currently being used in Denver, Montreal, Paris, Peking, Rio de Janeiro, and Washington D.C.
The idea is simple. Bikes could be rented and returned from convenient stations located at several locations throughout the Salt Lake Valley including Daybreak, the University of Utah, or downtown. Many of which would naturally be located close to transit stops. As a bike-sharing member, you can unlock any of the specially designed bikes at any station and ride it to any other bike station.
Imagine taking TRAX from Daybreak to downtown Salt Lake City or the University of Utah. You get off the train, but your office or classroom is six blocks away… You can simply grab a bike and ride it to work, lock it up, and then return it to the same station or a different one depending on where your ride takes you.
In other cities, bike share stations have been successful in places like water fronts (Oquirrh Lake) or other pedestrian friendly areas where people tend to gather (like say SoDa Row). As a member of the system you can set up an online account that provides tracking of distances traveled, calories burned, carbon offset and more.
Currently, there are more than 70 cities and universities world-wide that use a bike share system. The bike-share program removes three difficulties of daily cycling use: home storage, theft, and maintenance of your private bicycle. Seats and handlebars are adjustable to accommodate a variety of body types.
The potential Salt Lake County system is still being evaluated, so it is hard to say at this point how soon it will be before residents could participate in a bike-share program, what the costs might be, or where the bike stations would ultimately be located.
To learn more about the bike-share concept, you can ride a demo bike, view a bike check-out station and provide suggestions at a demonstration on Tuesday, August 10, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at SoDa Row in Daybreak. Representatives from B Cycle will be available to answer your questions and provide information on how the system is working in other places. B Cycle is one of several companies that operate bike share systems in other cities. Learn more at www.bcycle.com.