Mayor Dean launches downtown bicycle-sharing program - WSMV Channel 4

Mayor Dean launches downtown bicycle-sharing program

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV-AP) -

A new bike-share program in Nashville will provide bikes at several downtown kiosks for residents and visitors.

Mayor Karl Dean on Thursday demonstrated the program by checking out a B-cycle bike from an automated kiosk at the city's Public Square, then rode to the Nashville Farmer's Market and returned the bike to a kiosk there.

The B-cycle program is used in many other large cities, including Charlotte, Houston and Denver.

"I think it's a cultural change other cities are experiencing," said Nashville resident Austin Bauman. "Nashville is just the next step in that."

"The south is the battleground for our country's obesity epidemic," Dean explained to a crowd. "People get the fact there's a problem here. When you have 38 percent of our kids who are obese, and we know that obesity leads directly to heart disease and to diabetes, we've got to do something about it."

Metro Director of Health Bill Paul said this is one of the more than 20 projects funded by a $7.5 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control.

"Bicycles are becoming more and more what everybody is doing," said Bauman. "It's like the last piece of the puzzle."

Nashville's B-cycle includes 190 bikes at 20 kiosks within a three-mile radius of downtown. Riders can buy annual memberships, along with seven-day, 30-day or daily passes.

Daily passes are $5; seven-day passes are $10; 30-day passes are $15 and an annual membership is $50. B-cycles can be checked out for an hour at a time with a fee of $1.50 for each additional 30 minutes.

Related link: www.nashville.bcycle.com.

Copyright 2012 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. Associated Press contributed to this report.

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