The city of Columbia launched its new bike share program on Monday as Mayor Steve Benjamin cycled under the Lincoln Street tunnel onto the Vista Greenway.
The Blue Bike program is sponsored by BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and will be operated in conjunction with Canada-based bike share company Bewegen Technologies Inc. Its first phase features 135 bikes, including electric-assist models, at 15 rental stations located in the Main Street, Five Points and Vista areas.
Memberships can be purchased at www.bluebikesc.com.
Benjamin was joined by BlueCross BlueShield division president Scott Graves and Bewegen CEO Alain Ayotte at a news conference celebrating the launch of the bike share program, announced in March. Benjamin proclaimed Oct. 8 “Blue Bike Day” in Columbia.
The program stems from the city’s 2015 Walk Bike Columbia master plan, a partnership between the city and the Central Midlands Council of Governments that aimed to make Columbia more pedestrian- and cyclist-friendly.