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Bike sharing program in Riverhead could be up and running at six locations by spring

Riverhead Town officials plan to have a bike sharing program in place by this spring.

The Town Board discussed the proposal with Jonathan Keyes of Suffolk County’s Economic Development corporation at its work session Thursday, and discussed locations for six bike racks and a total of about 25 bikes.

“This is an effort the county has been working on for years,” Mr. Keyes said.

Suffolk County started the bike share program, called Bethpage Ride, in three communities last year: Hampton Bays, Patchogue and Babylon. The program has a sponsorship commitment from Bethpage Credit Union for 100 bikes across the county, and the county chose, through a request for proposals, a company called Zagster to run the program, according to Mr. Keyes.

He said that last fall, “we had over 500 rides. We launched after Labor Day and closed up in November, so we are happy with the results.”

The town is looking to locate the bike racks at the Veterans Memorial Park in Calverton, the Long Island Aquarium on East Main Street; the River and Roots Community Garden on West Main Street; the Long Island Rail Road station on Railroad Avenue; the Riverhead Town Hall parking lot; and the downtown Riverfront.

“It’s good to have the bikes be visible from the road,” said Councilwoman Jodi Gigio, who is working on the bike program with the town’s alternative transportation committee.

The program won’t cost the town anything, but people renting the bikes will have to pay. The price is $1 per 15 minutes or $10 per month or $60 per year for unlimited 30-minute rides. Riders, who must be 18 or older, must first download and set up the Pace app on their cell phone.

Last fall, the town received a $400,000 grant from Suffolk County to help in the design and creation of bike and pedestrian paths connecting rail and bus riders to downtown.