SOUTH SALT LAKE — GREENbike, Salt Lake City’s nonprofit bicycle sharing program, is now available in South Salt Lake as part of an expansion that includes stations at affordable housing developments, transit stops and a restaurant and beer store.
“As of today’s expansion, GREENbike has increased its service area by nearly 300%,” Ben Bolte, the program’s founder and executive director, said Thursday beside a rack of the rentable bikes near the Utah Transit Authority’s Central Pointe TRAX stop.
There are now 42 bike-rental stations between 2100 South and North Temple, and from 700 West to 900 East, Bolte said. The eight new bike station locations also include ArtSpace Commons, an apartment complex at 824 S. 400 West, and at the Proper Burger Company and beer store, 865 S. Main.
“We’ve been waiting a long time for this moment because we felt like this was the ideal spot for this new service for our folks who take transit every single day,” said Sharen Hauri, South Salt Lake’s urban design director, crediting transit options for the downtown area “popping up pretty rapidly.”
She said the new bike station is near a new affordable housing project and the city’s largest-ever development, Granite Mill, that will include a hotel, office building and additional housing. Bikes, Hauri said, will help serve low-income residents.
“We hope everyone in this valley can bike and we’re just grateful that GREENbike is thinking of all riders,” she said.
Rep. Ben McAdams, D-Utah, said it was exciting to see the bike program expanded.
“We know how important this is, connecting our transit system to our places of work and places where people live,” the congressman, a former Salt Lake County mayor, said. “We’ve come a long way since the initial rollout of GREENbike. Our community has embraced this innovative idea and we have all benefited.”
Also on hand was UTA Board Chairman Carlton Christensen, who said the expansion is part of a $20 million federal grant to help provide additional transportation options between transit stops and the final destinations of riders.
“Making that last mile connection is an important part of the success of transit as we go forward,” Christensen said. “We look forward not only to this project, but to many more to come.”
SelectHealth, whose name appears on the green-painted bikes, is renewing its sponsorship of the program another three years. GREENbike is a nonprofit, public and private partnership between the health care company, Salt Lake City and UTA.
Greg Reid, SelectHealth’s community and public relations manager, said the new contract means the bike share program will grow even more, promising it will be “moving closer to municipal green spaces” and offer more “opportunities for the underserved to be on bikes.”
Reid said SelectHealth will continue to provide about $600 for each bike, more than $400,000 last year. The new contract, he said, calls for the program to expand to places like Liberty Park and Sugar House Park as well as shopping malls and other places frequented by people outside of downtown Salt Lake City.