Phoenix neighborhood grant provides low-cost access to Grid Bikes

PHOENIX – The city is bringing a bike share program to a central Phoenix neighborhood at a fraction of the usual cost, teaching about safety and providing exercise options to residents who wouldn’t be able to afford the program.

An Aetna Foundation grant for $100,000 will finance the program in the Edison Eastlake neighborhood. Residents will pay a low annual fee negotiated between Grid Bike and the city.

“We haven’t penned down that amount but we’re are looking at $5 a year,” said Berenice Felix-Baca, a project manager with the city. Usual costs range from $10 per week to $20 per month, according to the Grid Bike website.

Residents will also be able to learn about bike safety at workshops and participate in community bike rides as part of the two-year grant, Felix-Baca said.

Resident Paula Gibson thinks she and her neighbors will use the program. She walks six miles every day but will bike that distance once the program starts later this month.

“I think it will help the community because a lot of people would use it to either to get to their daily commute or let their children use them,” Gibson said.

But Gibson did have some reservations.

“A lot of people work out in Tempe or Scottsdale and you know, you can’t ride a bike to Tempe or Scottsdale,” Gibson said.

Felix-Baca said that the program is also aimed at residents who want to exercise.

“We find they don’t have options in the area,” Felix-Baca said. “I know we are working to improve the Edison park, but in the meantime, we want to bring something sooner, faster so folks can exercise and have a little fun in the community.”