New bike-sharing program poised to launch on Oahu

A new bike-share program is set to launch on Oahu Wednesday.

You may have already noticed bicycle stations, or Biki stops, popping up around town.

On Wednesday, those stops will be activated, allowing you to rent a bicycle.

There will be 100 self-service Biki stops from Chinatown to Diamond Head, with a thousand bikes available for rent.

Although Bikeshare Hawaii is a not-for-profit organization, it took a public-private partnership to get the project rolling with the largest chunk of money coming from the city and that state. Each kicked in a million dollars with the balance of funds coming by way of private-sector donations.

Once the locations are activated, you simply slide your credit card, take the five-digit number generated by the kiosk, punch it into the dock, and off you go.

Prices start at $3.50 for a single, 30-minute ride.

It will cost you $20 for 300 minutes that you can use whenever and however you choose. As an example, a 10-minute ride from downtown to Kakaako would break down to 67 cents.

You can also pay $15 per month for an unlimited number of 30-minute trips, or $25 per month for an unlimited number of 60-minute trips.

One great thing about the multi-use passes is they never expire.

Another cost you need to know about is how much you’ll have to pay if you lose the bike — a whopping $1,200.

The bikes don’t come with locks, because the idea isn’t to keep these bikes with you the whole day. You simply take one out, then return it to the rack closest to your destination.

If that rack is full, you have a 15-minute grace period to get the bike to the another rack.

As far as safety information, pamphlets will be placed at the Biki locations, in English and Japanese, telling people how to obey the rules of the road.

Click here for more information.

The program is launching despite a small setback Tuesday that prevented the installation of 10 bike racks in and around Kapiolani Park.

Members of the Kapiolani Park Preservation Society say the racks violate rules of the trust, which prohibits use of park land for commercial business.

Bikeshare Hawaii argues that it is a non-profit, and placing racks around the park will bring more people to the area.

“There are residents that need to move and participate as part of the network, and that’s another part of the reason where we believe that a significant number, 10 Biki stops at Kapiolani Park, will provide access to Kapiolani Park and make that possible for people to attend the park, whether they own a car or not,” said CEO Lori McCarney.

“Bike share is just another one of the proposals that we feel inappropriately allocates trust land for commercial use, which is in direct violation of the trust,” said Donna Ching, Kapiolani Park Preservation Society board member.

The park’s trustees, who are made up of members of the city council, ruled that for now, bike share racks cannot be placed around the park.

The city’s lawyers were also asked to weigh in.

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