SUPERIOR- According to Superior Mayor Jim Paine, the city’s residents may enjoy a bike-sharing program by next spring. A bike-sharing program would allow residents to rent bikes from stations around the city for short period of time, returning them to another station. Paine says that he supports the program because Superior, a relatively small and flat city, is easy to get around while on foot or on a bike. The mayor also said that he wants the city to use surplus money from a lodging tax to pay for the program. With luck, the program could reduce traffic congestion while lowering emissions for the city.

Felicity Bosk at Wisconsin Public Radio reports:

The city of Superior could begin implementing a bike-share program in the city as soon as next spring, according to Superior Mayor Jim Paine. Superior’s mayor would like the city to invest surplus money that’s been collected through a tax on lodging to kick start the program.

A bike-share program would allow people to rent bikes from stations located around the city for short durations of time. Paine said he would like the city to invest roughly $72,000 to lease four bike stations for two years.

Superior’s mayor said surplus money from the city’s hotel-motel tax could be used to kick start the program, but he added it would require additional investment after the first two years.

“We need to make sure we are valuing all forms of transportation equally, not just motor vehicle traffic. I firmly believe the very best way to get around the city of Superior is some way other than a vehicle,” he said. “It’s a relatively geographically small and flat city, and so bicycles and pedestrians can get around far more effectively than vehicles.

Massachusetts-based Zagster approached the city with its idea for a bike-share program in Superior, according to Paine.  The company provides bikes, stations, maintenance, rider support, data analysis, and insurance to cities interested in growing their bicycle ridership. Zagster has bike-share programs in 160 locations across the United States and Canada, including Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.  The company also has programs in the Twin Cities.

Read more at Wisconsin Public Radio.