PORTLAND, Maine — Starting Monday, people in Portland have a new option for transportation: bikes and electric bikes.
The effort is all part of a new program to make it easier to get around town in a more affordable and ecological way. Tandem Mobility is the company in charge.
The new program kicked with 50 bikes on Monday. In a couple of months, there will be 200 bikes across the city, 50 of which will be electric.
To use a bike, people have to download an application on their smartphone called "Movatic." Once the app is downloaded, people have to include a payment method, and then all the available bikes will show up on a map showing which racks available bikes are stationed.
Portland's transportation program manager, Bruce Hyman, says he is excited Maines's biggest city is finally launching its first bike-share program.
"We are going to have designated places to begin your trip where you would get a bike and then end your trip, and so there will be 30 of those locations that Tandem Mobility will be setting up with anywhere from four to 10 bike racks," he said. "And then to supplement that, there will be 20 to 30 public and private bike rack locations that will be so-called 'virtual stations' that will be designated as part of the system, so people can begin or end their trip at those locations as well."
"It's been demonstrated all across the nation that bike-share can be a really important mix of adding multi-modal options to people's commutes and running errands," Hyman added. "If they take the bus downtown for instance, and their worksite is maybe a mile away from the closest bus stop, they'll be able to hop on a bike-share bike [to] complete that last mile of their trip."
Bikes are available to rent 24/7.
Riders must pay $1 to unlock a bike and 0.15 cents per minute to use them. Electric bikes cost $2 to unlock and 0.30 cents a minute to use.
There is also be a membership option where people can pay $14.99 a month, which removes unlock fees for all trips and gives a 50% discount on every minute of use.
Click here for more detailed instructions provided by Tandem Mobility.