Coast Bike Share: Tampa's bike share unveils name and pickup spots

1:58 PM, Jan 21, 2014   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- The city's new bike share program has unveiled its name, along with the locations where you can grab one of 300 bikes and ride all over Downtown and Ybor City.

What was Tampa Bay Bike Share is now Coast Bike Share. It's a play on words, combining the Bay area's location with what you'd do on an easy bike ride.

Mayor Bob Buckhorn became the first to hop on a Coast bike Tuesday morning; your ride is coming soon.

You'll be able to "grab and go" on one of their bright blue bikes starting this Spring.

Begin and end your trip at any bike rack where you find a bike, or from 30 hubs in Downtown Tampa, Hyde Park, Ybor City, and Davis Islands.

"This bike is going to be the first bike in the U.S. bike share world that has a computer built into it. So that means that we know where it is at all times," Coast Bike Share's Eric Trull said.

"You can jump on your smartphone, on our app, and see every single bike in the system. So if you're looking for a bike, you can simply find one, and go for a ride."

No smartphone? Just walk up to one of the hub stations.

"They reserve a bike, then they enter a four digit PIN code on the back," Trull explained. "The lock comes undone, they holster it up, and then they're off and riding."

The new Bike Share will expand to West Shore, Seminole Heights, and near USF if all goes well. The company's also in talks with St. Petersburg.

Bike share systems like this are on the rise across America. They're in cities like Phoenix, Washington, and New York.

The Tampa bikes have GPS trackers to help locate ones that disappear and tires that are reinforced with Kevlar, the same fabric that's in bulletproof vests.

Coast will get its power from pedals and its funding from ads on the bikes and subscriptions from riders. Taxpayers will pay nothing.

If you want to join, it'll cost you $79 a year. That breaks down to 21 cents a day.

Rather have something short-term? Rent a bike from Coast Bike Share for $5 an hour or get a one-month subscription for $30.

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