RIDESolutions making changes to bike share program in Roanoke

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Terry Graham can be seen on the Roanoke Greenway at least 3 days a week. He brings his own bike but typically cycles about 40 miles.

WDBJ7 photo

"The biking just helps supplement to give me a little more exercise," said Graham.

While the warm temperatures are keeping cyclists away during the day this time of year, Graham said he does see other cyclists.

"On the weekends and the nights when it's cooler, yeah, there are a good amount of people out," he said.

But according to Ride Solutions, there are still not enough people using the bikes.

"Specifically for the three stations that are going away, the one at Fallon Park, they're just not seeing the use that we want and we want to make sure we're putting the stations where people are going to use them," said Jeremy Holmes, director of RIDESolutions.

Three of the bike share stations RIDESolutions has will no longer exist within a few weeks and it comes down to two main issues: use and funding.

"One of the things we've always been proud of with the bike share system is that it's a privately funded system. We aren't asking our local governments for any money, we're working with businesses and organizations who understand the value of bike share to make it happen," said Holmes.

Holmes added half the battle, though, is getting the partnerships and then keeping them.

A full station sponsorship costs $9000 each year - that includes the location itself and 5 bicycles.

The locations that are moving: the one at Brown Robertson Park to Vic Thomas Park and the one at Vinton Farmer's Market to The Vinton Public Library, are moving to make sure the program exists where there are riders.

"People will be aware, we'll let them know, and then you know if people get excited about it and that gets sponsors excited then we'll be able to bring some back and flesh this system out," said Holmes.

That's the goal for a program that aims to make Roanoke a healthier place to live.

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