BY JOSEPH KOHUT, STAFF WRITER
The Times-Tribune, Published March 28, 2016
Riding high after a successful pilot year, a free bike-share program based in Scranton doubled in size for its upcoming second season, the host organization said.
The Lackawanna Heritage Valley used the remaining funds from last year’s $15,000 NEPA Health Care Foundation grant to purchase more than 20 bicycles and boost Bike Scranton’s fleet to 43, said Julie Imel, a spokeswoman for LHV. The bike-share’s second season will launch this week during First Friday on Courthouse Square.
“We couldn’t be happier with the reception from the community,” Ms. Imel said.
The program began in April when LHV purchased 21 bicycles from two area cycling shops using grant money. The program aimed to encourage people to adopt cycling as a regular form of exercise.
The community responded. More than 670 people borrowed bicycles between May and November.
‘Good for everybody’
Bill Puchalski, the head mechanic at Cedar Bike & Paddle in Scranton, noted the participants’ enthusiastic attitude. The bike-share broadened the community’s willingness to exercise and its awareness of the area’s trails.
“Any positivity about bicycling is good for us and good for everybody,” Mr. Puchalski said.
While the size of the program doubled, the nuts and bolts haven’t changed, Ms. Imel said. Participants must be 18 or older and must present a valid driver’s license or valid identification. They must also sign a liability waiver. Bicycles may be borrowed for as little as a few hours or up to a full day. Helmets are provided.
After Friday’s launch at Courthouse Square, those interested in borrowing bikes can do so at the following sites, all in Scranton:
■ The LHV headquarters at 213 S. Seventh Ave.
■ The Hilton Scranton and Conference Center on Adams Avenue.
■ Cedar Bike & Paddle at 629 Pittston Ave.
■ The Weinberg Memorial Library at the University of Scranton.
The bike-share program ends in October but could be extended if the area has another warm autumn.
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