One rapidly growing bike share program is finally pedaling its way into Winter Park.
Juice Bike Share will be opening up its first bike station for use in Winter Park at the Valencia College campus off of Morse Boulevard later this month, just in time for the start of the new school semester.
Valencia College will receive a station with four new bikes, which can be taken anywhere within the Juice network covering the Orlando area. Riders can simply make an account online, reserve a nearby bike through the mobile app, unlock the bike by entering a PIN number above the rear tire and start riding.
Program Director Peter Martinez gave a presentation about the bright-orange bikes on Tuesday before the city’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Board, giving the board an update on the program’s potential to thrive in the city of culture and heritage.
“We did this in Orlando and we’re here now,” Martinez said.
“Right now we’re talking with Winter Park to see how this could work out here. Sponsorship-wise the city looks pretty strong – stronger than Orlando. That tells you about the community of Winter Park.”
Today Juice Bike Share has 200 bikes spread throughout the Orlando area at 22 bike stations, though the rentable bikes can be attached to any bike rack within the system limits.
Martinez added that these aren’t your average bikes. Each one of the orange-colored bicycles has built-in timer that keeps track of the allotted time you have to use the bike. For example: an annual membership with Juice Bike Share gives a rider 60 minutes a day before the bike must be returned and locked at a station
The bikes also come outfitted with internal GPS technology that tells Juice Bike Share exactly where each bike is located at all times. Both the locking and GPS systems are solar powered as well for an energy-efficient touch.
Martinez said Valencia College may be just the first of many Winter Park locations to receive the bikes. Juice Bike Share plans to pitch the cycle system to Winter Park Village and Winter Park Memorial Hospital as well, he said.
On June 22, the Winter Park City Commission voted to piggyback on an existing bike station contract between the city of Orlando and CycleHop, LLC, which operates Juice Bike Share. Winter Park and the bike share program are still finalizing language in the contract, but Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Board Chairman David Erne said Winter Park plans to put its first contracted bike station near the SunRail station beside Central Park.
The bike share program, Erne said, is a perfect fit for the city.
“I think the bike share is going to be a huge success in Winter Park,” Erne said. “Much like we’re the number one SunRail station, we’re going to have the most usage of the bikes.”
“I wish we’d gotten it sooner, but I think it’s going to take off.”
Martinez said that Winter Park has been a destination for their bikers ever since the program’s inception back in January.
“We only had four stations and people were riding from Lake Eola to Winter Park,” Martinez said. “We actually had to expand our system area to include Winter Park beforehand, just because people were riding from downtown and locking up.”
“Winter Park is already a destination. Having a bike share here will blow up.”
Martinez told the Observer last year that he originally came up with the idea for the bike share while he was visiting Washington, D.C. He remembered watching bikers pass him in his car while stuck in gridlocked traffic.
“Once people see bikes cruising past them while they are stuck in traffic, just like I was that day back in Washington, D.C., people will learn there is a better way to get around,” he said.
Martinez said that Juice Bike Share expects to have 300 bikes and 30 stations in the system by August 2016.