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Bike-share program named, prices set

24 stations will link downtown, key destinations.

Link is the name of Dayton’s new bike-share program, and residents right now can sign up for $65 annual memberships.

Link initially will offer 24 stations in and around downtown Dayton, which will be installed in mid-April. The system’s 225 bikes will become available to check out in May.

Annual membership will cost $65 and semester passes will run $45. It will cost $30 for a monthly pass and $5 for a day pass.

“We based (the costs) on other markets in the area and what we thought was a good fit for Dayton,” said Laura Estandia, executive director of Bike Miami Valley, after a Thursday press conference.

A committee of volunteers and Dayton-firm Catapult Creative worked to come up with a brand and identity for Dayton’s bike-share program to set it apart from similar ones across the nation, officials said.

The name, Link, captures the essence of what the program will mean for downtown Dayton, because it will connect key destinations, said Scott Murphy, president of the Bike Miami Valley Board.

“We also saw this as an opportunity to communicate to the public, perhaps with one word, the benefits of the bike-share program,” Murphy said.

Link will make it easier to get around the city while promoting healthy living and fitness, supporters said.

Station locations were selected based on their proximity to key hot spots and employment and activity centers, including restaurants, shops and arts and entertainment attractions.

Thirteen stations will be placed in the Central Business District, east of the Great Miami River with a southbound border of Fifth Street.

Five stations will be located around the University of Dayton Campus. UD was one of the founding sponsors of the program. The Dayton Art Institute and the UD Research Institute will have docking stations.

“We look at this as a way to get our students, our faculty and staff to downtown and other points,” said UD President Dan Curran.

UD will push students to visit downtown and “look at the world in a different way,” and Link will make it easier to achieve those goals, Curran said. Bike-sharing also cleans up the campus, he said.

People who buy annual or semester memberships will be issued swipe cards they will use to access the bikes.

People who want a daily or monthly pass can swipe a credit card at a bike station to check out a ride.

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley was Link’s first customer. She said the program is consistent with Dayton’s livable streets policies.

“Bike-share programs are proven to bolster urban vibrancy, are a major factor in downtown livability and also maximize the connectivity of existing public-transit infrastructure,” she said.

Bike Miami Valley set a goal 40,000 trips in the first year. The bike-share program will operate out of a Greater Dayton RTA building on South Main Street.

“Our serious hope is we can partner with a local bike shop eventually and have bike retail back in downtown Dayton,” said Mark Donaghy, executive director of the Greater Dayton RTA.

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