Southwest Louisiana officials are looking at bike-sharing.
Bike-sharing programs use computers and GPS to track bicycles, rented through a smartphone app by the hour or half-hour. Baton Rouge and St. Tammany Parish are investigating whether to start such programs. New Orleans has one with about 400 bicycles.
Calcasieu Parish, Lake Charles, Sulphur, the Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana are paying for a feasibility study for their area.
The American Press reports that the Sulphur City Council voted Monday to join the study.
“Who is going to own this? Is a company going to own this, or is the city going to own this? … What will the city gain out of this money-wise?” he asked.
The study will indicate, among other things, which of the many bike-sharing models would be the best fit for Sulphur and Lake Charles, and how many bikes would make sense, foundation president and CEO Sara McLeod Judson said.
“Optimistically speaking, what we would gain is changing the culture, healthier living and utilizing bicycles to exercise and create a type of lifestyle I know I need. That would be more of a gain or profit versus revenue,” council member Melinda Hardy said.
The parish, Lake Charles and convention bureau are paying $10,000 each. Sulphur will pay $5,000, and the foundation is funneling $5,000 from a private donor. Mayor Mike Danahay said the city’s tourism fund would cover Sulphur’s share.
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