Colorado Springs' first bike-share program launches this month, rolling out hundreds of bicycles for residents and visitors alike.
The bicycles can be borrowed downtown starting June 26, said Jill Gaebler, City Council president pro tem.
Check out prices will range from $2 per half-hour to $90 annual passes.
Such programs have popped up across the country and grown to be regular occurrences, said Laurel Prud'homme, a spokeswoman with the Colorado Springs Downtown Partnership, which is launching and operating the program.
"It's no longer an anomaly," she said. "People expect this from a city of our size."
About half of Pike Ride's users are expected to be tourists, Gaebler said.
The program will offer an environmentally friendly and thrifty way to explore the city, while also filling a need for Colorado College students and other residents, she said.
"The millennials and college students really want multimodal transit," she said.
Downtown professionals will see a benefit too, Prud'homme said.
"Like if someone works at the Plaza of the Rockies, they can ride up to Wild Goose for a meeting rather than driving the six blocks," she said.
The program will promote health and wellness in the city's core, Gaebler said, underscoring its status as Olympic City USA.
Bikes will be checked out from dozens of kiosks and hubs downtown but don't have to be returned to those sites, she said.
Riders simply lock them at a bike rack in the city, and GPS trackers on the cycles are expected to prevent theft and let city staff map the most popular destinations.
"On a bike, they're so much more likely to stop (at a restaurant or shop) than they are when they're in a car," she said. "And they're not forced to go to a (hub) that may or may not be near where they want to go.
"We'll be able to see where we should be putting future bike lanes to keep tourists and residents safe."
The program's first phase will ask users to keep bicycles downtown, Prud'homme said. Its boundaries will be Fillmore Street to the north, Union Boulevard to the east, Fountain Boulevard to the south and Interstate 25 on the west. Riders can briefly leave that area for a small fee, she said.
The second phase would expand boundaries north to the Garden of the Gods, south to The Broadmoor and west to Manitou Springs. It's expected to launch in 2020, Prud'homme said.
Because that terrain has more hills and inclines, bicycles with electronic motors will be added to Pike Ride's inventory.
Denver's B-cycle program has 700 bikes at 88 locations and can be rented for $9 per 24-hour pass.