February was the debut month for a brand new bike share program in the St. Pete and Tampa downtown areas. The program will help residents go green and enjoy plenty of great views, fun and transportation on two wheels.
This new program comes from a company called Coast. Residents and visitors can pick up bikes and ride them all over town. Then, they can simply drop the bike off at the nearest drop off point or bike rack. Those looking for a green and healthy solution to transportation will enjoy this new program.
Bike share programs are not new, but they are new to the Tampa and St. Pete area. They have been popping up all over the United States in many major and mid-major cities. The program in Tampa and St. Pete will start with about 300 bikes and 30 stations found throughout the city.
How the Bike Share Program Works
Using the bike share program is very easy. It starts with reserving your bike at any of the pickup points through an app you can download and add to your phone. The app can be found at:
You will need to register with the app to get started. Then, all you need to do is use the bicycle keypad with your account number and PIN. If you plan to use the bike share program quite ab it, you will be able to get a membership card. You will simply tap this card on the bike keypad and enter your PIN.
Once you have your bike, you can ride all over town and enjoy easy, green transportation. When you stop to enjoy an attraction, go shopping or for a meal, you can simply press "hold" on the keypad to reserve your bike. Then, just lock it up and when you're ready to start riding again, enter your PIN.
When it's time to return the bike, just take it to the nearest drop off station or bike rack and lock your bike. Make sure you receive the "Thank You" message on the display. If multiple beeps are given, you haven't completely engaged the lock and should try again.
Where can You Ride with Coast?
The Coast bike share program will provide 30 new locations and 300 bikes with plans for expansion. For now, if you want to enjoy using this program, you can enjoy plenty of pre-planned adventures including:
St. Pete Waterfront riding
St. Pete Mural Tour
Downtown St. Pete attractions, shopping and dining
Bayshore Trail in Tampa
Historic Hyde Park
Davis Islands Ride
All of these areas are close to pick up and drop off locations allowing you to fully enjoy the Coast bike share program.
What's the Cost?
Multiple plans are offered through Coast for the use of the bike share program including:
Students can pay an annual fee of $59 for access to 60 minutes of ride time each day.
If you're just visiting the St. Pete or Tampa area, you can use the pay-as-you-go option. The plan charges $8 for every 60 minutes the bike is in use.
Those planning to use the bike share program regularly may want a regular riders plan. Choices include:
60 minutes of ride time a day - $15/month
90 minutes of ride time a day - $20/month
60 minutes of ride time a day - $79/year
In addition to these fees, there is a $3 fee if you don't lock the bike at a Coast Hub Station. They also charge a $25 fee if you lock your bike outside of the Coast Bike Share system area.
Your daily ride times don't roll over and reset at midnight. If you do go over the time allotted in your plan, you will be billed at the $8 per hour prorated amount by the minute.