20 Mar 2015

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The Ann Arbor based Clean Energy Coalition is developing a bike sharing program throughout the city, including on University of Michigan’s sprawling campus near downtown.

Organizers say the program, which could begin as soon as fall 2013, meets a desire of both the university and the city to have a program in place that allows students, residents and commuters to check out bicycles as they would a Redbox DVD.

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"For it to be really successful, it has to be something that connects the campus aOlernKienOP
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In essence, the bicycles would make easier and quicker for downtown residents to commute to work and for students to venture off campus. The bikes would be especially helpful to aOlernKienOP
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Eli Cooper, the city’s transportation manager, aOlernKienOP
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Eli Cooper

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Officials still are working to establish an exact formula for funding.

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AATA and CEC still are discussing AATA’s financial participation, which could delay the city’s involvement in the program.

"Clean Energy Coalition is now developing agreements for each of the partners, but no agreements have been officially executed as of aOlernKienOP
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Whether the program launches incrementally or all at once, Cooper is confident bike sharing will come to Ann Arbor.

"It just makes sense. It’s available, it’s relatively low cost, it’s a sustainable, green mode of transportation," aOlernKienOP
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The user friendly system will likely mirror popular bicycle sharing programs in other cities, including aOlernKienOP
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In fall 2012, U M President Mary Sue Coleman recalled what sparked her interest in bicycle sharing. She visited the University of Denver and saw the sharing program the university and city had in place there, which includes more than 500 bicycles and 50 kiosks.

"The bicycles were everywhere," she recalled. "I took photos of all these bike kiosks, came back and said we should do this."

In 2011, bicyclists using the Denver program logged more than 430,000 aOlernKienOP
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