Kona bikeshare to expand

  • Fawad and Lina Ahadi from New Zealand rent bikes from the Bike Share station on Alii Drive Wednesday morning. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

The bikeshare program in Kailua Village is doubling from three to six bike stations, thanks to action Wednesday by the County Council.

The council voted unanimously to provide $30,000 to People’s Advocacy for Trails Hawaii, or PATH, as the local contribution to a $120,000 grant from the federal transportation alternative program to expand the 2-year-old bikeshare.

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The program, currently limited to the Kailua Village area, has three stations and 32 bikes, said PATH Executive Director Tina Clothier. The expansion will result in six stations and 59 bikes, anticipated to be in place by mid-May.

So far, 2,084 users have checked out bikes 4,563 times, Clothier said, and she expects that number to hit 5,000 by the end of the year.

“We feel like we’re really on track,” Clothier told the council. “We believe we’ve shown proof of concept and we’re ready for expansion.”

The county in 2016 kick-started the program with a $250,000 grant that came from the county’s $15 registration fee for bicycles and mopeds.

Clothier said a state grant-in-aide grant should pave the way for a similar program in Hilo.

The bike stands with the light blue bikes are currently located at Kipapa Park, Hale Halawai Pavilion and Huggo’s &On the Rocks. Prices run from $3.50 per ride for a 30-minute ride to $20 per 300 Minutes. Monthly rates of $15 for unlimited 30-minute rides and $25 for unlimited 60-minute rides are also available.

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Kona Councilwoman Karen Eoff praised the work of the nonprofit and its director.

“Thank you, Tina Clothier, for advocating for PATH and for multimodal ways of transportation,” Eoff said.