CANANDAIGUA – If you wanted to take a bicycle tour of Canandaigua, now may be the time to hit the road and give it a spin.
Earlier in the year, City Council and Florida-based bike-sharing company HOPR reached an agreement to provide the app-based program, which is being done in the city of Rochester and some of its suburbs, in Canandaigua.
The bikes will be available this week at various stations: downtown, in front of Patty’s Place and farther south on Main Street, at Frequentum Brewing; on the lakefront on Lake Shore Drive in front of Young Lion Brewing Co. and the Kershaw Park bathhouse; Wood Library; and Finger Lakes Community College campus.
Canandaigua is the first community outside of Monroe County to participate in the program, according to City Manager John Goodwin.
Members of the city’s transportation/trolley committee, which was created by Mayor Bob Palumbo, began exploring the idea after members of the committee who travel have seen this done successfully elsewhere.
Palumbo said this an option for out-of-town visitors to explore Canandaigua, and for residents who don’t have a bike but want to be out and about in the city.
"It gives people a little more range to explore around Canandaigua," Palumbo said.
The city is trying out the program on a two-year trial basis and can renew or opt out at the end, depending on its success. The Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority, or RTS, will handle the cost of the program for at least two years through grant funding.
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In addition to user fees, HOPR also will pursue advertising on the bikes and at bike stations to pay for the program. Businesses will be able to sponsor a station.
To get started riding on the bikes, one must download the HOPR Transit App and complete the registration process. Once in the app, scan the QR code, unlock and ride.
Bike riders pay $1 on a credit card to unlock a bike, which includes pedal bikes and electric bikes that provide assistance for riders who may struggle to get up hills.
On a pay-as-you-go option, a rider then pays 15 cents a minute to use a peddle bike or 25 cents a minute for an e-bike. Monthly memberships — including rates for low-income users — are also available.
The company is able to track the location of the bikes through GPS and has credit card information, so a user can't just take the bike or abandon it without paying.
To end the ride, lock the wheel. As part of this new program, HOPR has issued a promo code: CANANDAIGUABIKES! for $10 riding credit added to a wallet in the customer app.
Palumbo said the app also provides directions to sites and places to see. As an added benefit, visitors and residents alike can avoid paying high gas prices in this
"It’s just more environmentally friendly transportation around the city," Palumbo said.
This article originally appeared on Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: Bike-sharing stations comes to Canandaigua thanks to new agreement