RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A little rain didn't dampen the excitement for the new RVA Bike Share program.
The fleet of 220 bikes, docked at 20 stations across the city from Church Hill to Scott's Addition, launched Tuesday.
The bikes are unlocked through a mobile app. The cost of a one-way ride begins at $1.75, but weekly, monthly and yearly passes are also available.
Mayor Levar Stoney touted RVA Bike Share as a low-cost, environmentally-friendly way for tourists and locals to explore the city.
"We want to be a place that no matter who you are, what neighborhood you come from, that you can have a high quality of life in the city of Richmond, and this provides that," Stoney said.
This is just the first phase of the project. Bikes equipped with pedal assist, which gives riders an extra jolt, is expected to roll out in the coming months.
"You will definitely see me on a bike soon," said Stoney.
Corps Logistics will help upkeep the fleet. The company has trained homeless veterans to oversee similar bike shares in Maryland and Utah.
"They'll be mechanics, basic mechanics who work on the bikes and do general maintenance. They'll do re-balancing or redistributing of bikes throughout the city," said Corps Logistics CEO Jim Duffney.
One such mechanic is Stanley Brown, who served in the Army but then fell on hard times and was living on the street. He's been working for Baltimore's bike share program and says the skills he learned as an equipment part specialist in the Army now will him help run RVA's bike share.
"It was tough from here to there, there to here. I didn't have a stable house. Thanks to the bike share, everything's alright now," he said.
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