After learning that the City of Carmel was restarting its bike share through a company called Tandem Mobility, City of Lawrence officials decided to offer something similar.
“My understanding is that the city tried to launch a bike share a few years ago and was looking for sponsors and it never came to fruition,” said Daniel Beyer, communications director for the city of Lawrence.
Lawrence officials have learned that Noblesville also uses Tandem Mobility for the bike-sharing service.
“We thought we were going to go ahead and start without any sponsors, pay the investment ourselves and hope to expand the program in the years to come,” Beyer said.
Lawrence opened two bike stations on October 8. Each is equipped with five bicycles. One station is at the City of Lawrence Government Center, 9001 E. 59th St., and another at the Fort Ben Cultural Campus near the Sterrett Center on Otis Avenue. Infrastructure and bicycles totaled $ 20,000. The city signed a three-year contract with Tandem Mobility.
Bikes cost $ 1.50 per half hour to rent. An annual pass costs $ 30 and frees up the first hour of each rental. A monthly pass with a similar configuration costs $ 10. Bikes are rented through the Movatic mobile app.
Beyer said the city hopes to offset its investment with rental fees and potential sponsorships.
“I think it’s a great convenience for the city to have for the people who live here, especially with (Fort Harrison State Park),” Beyer said. “If you park at the government center, we are at the entrance to the state park.”
Beyer said the program helps promote healthy lifestyles and increases recreational opportunities for residents and visitors from out of town.
“We called it ‘Tower Lawrence’ because we think Lawrence is a great city, and we would love for people to take the tour and see everything that’s here,” Beyer said. “Fort Ben is kind of like our downtown core, and that’s where we start it. There really is a lot to see and do.
Beyer said the city wanted to expand the program and open more stations in the future. He said the city was working with Fort Harrison State Park to create an agreement allowing Tour Lawrence cyclists to enter the park for free.
“It has to be approved by the state, so it’s ongoing,” Beyer said. ” It’s slow. This is our goal, hopefully, for next year.
Since their opening, the bicycle stations have counted more than 70 rentals. Lawrence Mayor Steve Collier was the first customer.
“The idea is to make the city more accessible on foot and more touristy, and that fits in perfectly with cycling,” said Collier. “This is the perfect opportunity for people who come here to visit. In fact, we’ve seen quite a bit of use already.
Showcase small businesses
Since joining the city three years ago, the City of Lawrence’s Director of Communications, Daniel Beyer, has focused on increasing tourism.
“It’s something that I’ve been working on slowly,” Beyer said. “It has always been one of my goals to help small businesses and showcase all the big things in the city. “
Beyer is creating an ad that shows someone renting a Tour Lawrence bike, biking to Porter Books and Bread, biking in Fort Harrison State Park, then having lunch at a small business in Lawrence.
To learn more, visit visitlawrenceindiana.com/attractions/tourlawrence.