You could soon rent a bike in Wilmington with your smartphone

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington could soon follow in the footsteps of cities like Durham and Charlotte, by implementing a bike sharing service.

Bike sharing is a convenient way to rent a bicycle for a small fee using a smartphone app. If the plan works out, it won’t cost the city a dime.

“I was there for that whole implementation process and that whole first year of UNCW having Hawk-Wheels bike share, and it’s been very well received by students, faculty and staff,” said Wilmington Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization Transportation Demand Management Coordinator Nick Cannon.

Cannon helped to bring bike sharing to UNCW, and now he wants to do the same for the city of Wilmington.

“We are a pretty densely populated area with a lot of things, residential, shopping, dining, schools, located in a pretty compact area. And a lot of places are convenient to get to by biking,” said Cannon.

He says though our area is great for biking, not everyone can afford one, or has the space to store it. That’s where bike sharing comes in.

The Wilmington Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization has been working on the idea for close to a year.

They finally decided on Pace Bike Share, and presented the plan at a City Council agenda briefing Monday morning.

“We felt that they had all the criteria that we wanted for a program that would work in any of the cities or towns in the Cape Fear region, and they are a station-based program,” said Cannon.

Station-based means you pick up and return the bikes at designated bike racks.
People seem to like the idea.

“I can’t afford a new bike right now, so I would definitely, without a doubt, use that. I bike like probably 10 miles a day. I love biking,” said David Kennair.

“I just think it would be a great benefit for everyone around here,” said Caroline Warshaw.

Cannon says while the only way to rent a bike through Pace right now is with their smartphone app, the company is working on another solution for those who don’t have smartphones.

He says the city council said they want to move forward with the program.

If it is successful, it could spread to other areas like Leland or Carolina Beach.

Categories: Local, New Hanover