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Bikesharing: Can Las Vegas Do It?

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Craig Ruttle/AP

New York launched a bike-sharing program in 2013.

If you’ve gone to visit cities like Washington D.C., Chicago or New York lately, you’ve likely seen commuters getting around on two wheels.

Yes, of course people bike in Las Vegas too, but it still hasn’t quite gone mainstream with a bike-sharing system.

Bike sharing is a way to rent a bike for a certain amount of time, and then conveniently drop a bike off at a designated station when you’re done.

Last week, bike-sharing programs finally made their way to Los Angeles county.

So when will we see it here in Las Vegas? The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada told KNPR's State of Nevada that it has started the process and hope to award the contract to a bike-sharing company early next year.

"We're looking forward to launching our first public bike-share system here locally in late summer 2016," said David Swallow, senior director of engineering and technology for the RTC. 

Swallow said they're hoping to model the program after other successful programs in New York, D.C. and Chicago. He believes it will help solve a lot of people's transportation problems.

"We want to emulate that and look for opportunities to create more bicycling in Las Vegas not just as a commuter but for those short trips that might be a little too far to walk but too short to really want to wait for transit, say like a bus, to come pick you up," he said.

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He also said that a bike-share program can help cut down on car use, which cuts down on pollution and traffic. 

Swallow said Las Vegas is a little bit behind other cities when it comes to bike-sharing programs because of the lack of infrastructure for bicyclists and because it took some time to decide where is the best place for the program to launch.

He said that some people had argued that the Strip should be the first place for the program, but ultimately the RTC decided on downtown.

"The city of Las Vegas has done a commendable job of building a robust bike infrastructure downtown," Swallow said. 

Guests

David Swallow, senior director of engineering and technology, Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada 

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