Baton Rouge is ready to put its nascent bikeshare program into gear.
The city-parish issued a request for equipment vendor proposals today, Mayor Sharon Weston Broome announced. It expects the selected company to provide the technology and equipment for 80 stations and 800 bikes, assist with final station placement, and install the system.
If all goes according to plan, service is expected to begin as early as next spring.
Under the RFP, firms must submit offers to operate by Aug. 21. A selection committee will select a finalist and the Metro Council must sign off on the contract. Broome is hoping that will happen sometime in September, with the winning firm expected to start the program within six months after a contract is signed.
The program will be rolled out in phases. In the first, 50 stations and 500 bikes—some of them electric-assisted—will be at LSU, Southern University and downtown. The second phase will bring 30 more stations and 300 bikes to Mid City, north Baton Rouge and the Baton Rouge Health District.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development is providing $600,000 in funding for the program, with the city-parish responsible for matching funds up to $260,000.