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Atlanta’s bike share program rolling along

August 12,2016

http://www.myajc.com/news/news/local/atlantas-bike-share-program-rolling-along/nsDgN/

Becky Katz is sitting in a hive of transit. Underneath Woodruff Park, MARTA trains run north and south while above ground people hop streetcars and buses or use their own two feet to get to work, coffee shops and other weekday morning destinations.

This summer Katz, 29, helped implement a new way for Atlanta to get from point A to point B. It’s bright blue with a basket on the front and it was riding past her on Auburn Avenue.

“You see, those people may have not had access to that before and now they’re out there riding around,” Katz told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, pointing to a pair of riders. “I didn’t plan that, I swear.”

Becky Katz is sitting in a hive of transit. Underneath Woodruff Park, MARTA trains run north and south while above ground people hop streetcars and buses or use their own two feet to get to work, coffee shops and other weekday morning destinations.

This summer Katz, 29, helped implement a new way for Atlanta to get from point A to point B. It’s bright blue with a basket on the front and it was riding past her on Auburn Avenue.

“You see, those people may have not had access to that before and now they’re out there riding around,” Katz told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, pointing to a pair of riders. “I didn’t plan that, I swear.”

In June, Atlanta launched its bike-share program, Relay, in partnership with the private company CycleHop. Would-be riders rent bikes from a station for about an hour at a time then return them to another station or nearby location.

Katz, the city’s Chief Bicycle Officer, oversaw the rollout of 100 bikes at 10 stations. That will expand to 500 bikes at 60 to 70 stations by the end of the year. Katz said the program has found its niche in a sprawling city notorious for its gridlock.

For Katz, the beauty of bike sharing is the accessibility it provides. Not long ago, a short trip through downtown could be a hassle whether it required waiting for a train, parking a car or trekking on foot.

Bikes were always an option but owning one was a serious investment. Now someone can ride to the grocery store or get to a MARTA station at a cost of $8 per day or $20 per month.

“It takes biking and it gives it to the people,” Katz said.

Katz is originally from New York City but spent the better part of her time travelling before coming to Atlanta five years ago. After graduating from Cornell University in 2009 she considered joining the Peace Corps, but instead attended grad school in Saudi Arabia. After that she took time off to travel in India and Nepal for five months.

Five years ago, she moved to Atlanta while her partner completed his graduate degree at Georgia Tech.