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Tampa rolls out new bike share program

Taking a cue from cities like New York and Boston, Tampa will unveil its new bike-share program before the new year. On Nov. 17, early enrollment begins on the Citi Bike-style system, and early joiners will receive 50 percent more time on the road and a free helmet. The Founding Membership campaign offers a year's worth of 90-minute rides for $99, and could become your new preferred method of transportation around the Tampa Bay area. 

"It's been a year and a half of hard work, little bit of education on our side, little bit of education on the city's side, but at this point I believe we're all happy," Eric Trull, spokesman for Coast Bike Share, told The Tampa Tribune. "We're all moving in the same direction and launch — just like cooler temperatures — is very near."

Registrants who enroll after the formal launch on Dec. 7 can pay $79 for a year's worth of 60-minute rides, or may opt to pay $5 per day or $30 for a month of services. Kiosks will be located around the city's popular neighborhoods. Riders can pick up a bike at a station and drop it off at the nearest convenient one as soon as they're finished. To start, 300 bikes will be placed around 30 different founding kiosks.

Powered by internal computers and LED lights, the carbon footprint of the bike share program is expected to be minimal, and may revolutionize commutes in the city for some. The bikes are light blue and designed to resemble Danish cruisers from the mid-20th century. Weighing 39 lbs, the Tampa bikes will be considerably lighter than bikes in other cities, and are built to be nearly indestructible. 

Whether you're jetting between Tampa meeting facilities or just want to take a spin around the block, the cruisers will be here very soon. 

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