Norfolk and Portsmouth hoping to ride toward bike-sharing program together

Posted at 9:29 PM, Jun 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-15 23:28:14-04

NORFOLK/PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Two Hampton Roads cities are looking to partner up for a bike-sharing program. The goal of the bike program is to have people regardless of whether they commute around town, or even tourists, hop on a bike.

"A bikable walkable city has become the gold standard for livability, quality of life for cities," said Paul Forehand, who works in the Recreation, Parks and Open Space department for the city of Norfolk.

That's why Norfolk and Portsmouth want to ride together toward a bike-sharing program. The goal is to have more than 150 bikes at racks throughout the downtown areas in both cities for anyone to use.

"A full spectrum, there should be commuters using it, shoppers, students, tourists," said Forehand.

Bikes will be available at stations where riders can unlock them for use. They can pay per use or sign up for a membership. The city of Norfolk told News 3 they are still in the beginning stages, but people are already excited.

Student Cody Bartram said, "I could see myself using it. Definitely, if it's down the Granby, Ghent areas I think that would great places for it to be at for a starting point."

Bikes and cyclists are already a common sight in Downtown Norfolk. People who use it as their main form of transportation say it helps them avoid the hassle of looking for a parking spot.

"People are biking, I use my bike more than ever in Norfolk and I'm enjoying it," said Donna Gray.

The city of Norfolk said their vision is to have the program be an extension of public transportation, to take people that last mile or few blocks from the bus or ferry and get them to their final destination.