Pittsburgh’s bike-share program gearing up for reboot

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh’s bike-share program is getting a major reboot in the months ahead.

“We have a really exciting moment to be in, to look at what really fits and what’s the best equipment to serve the residents and visitors to Pittsburgh,” said David White, Executive Director of Bike Share Pittsburgh.

Bike Share Pittsburgh owns and operates the “Healthy Ride” system across the city, which includes dozens of bike-share stations.

But the program’s long-time equipment provider is now shifting its focus overseas, and that means “Healthy Ride” must head in a new direction, White said.

The goal is to replace the program by next Spring, a multi-million dollar effort that’s been in the works for quite some time now and has involved months of community feedback.

While a final plan is still being fine-tuned, White said the new fleet will include electric bikes in addition to pedal bikes.

“Our goal is to replace the entire network that we have now so it will be all-new station equipment, all-new bicycles, new registration, new user experience.”

While there may be some changes to station locations, the goal is to replace existing stations with new ones.

The replacement process will be “methodical,” White said, and people may notice stations being removed in the coming days, but certainly not all at once. A list of the first to be removed can be found here: https://healthyridepgh.com/blog/2021/12/08/station-removals-dont-worry-exciting-things-are-coming/.

He doesn’t anticipate a lag time where avid bike riders won’t have the chance to find a station.

“Our goal is to be able to transition away from our current system and into new equipment pretty seamlessly,” White said.

Though supply disruptions could impact plans, White hopes to have the transition complete by next spring.

The project is receiving federal grant money as well as assistance from the City of Pittsburgh.

Riders may face a fare increase in 2022, but that hasn’t been officially determined.

White said they hope to donate the existing bikes in groups of 10 to organizations or perhaps schools. To submit a request to receive the bikes, visit: https://healthyridepgh.com/recycle-a-bicycle/.