Bike Rental Program Coming to Forest Preserves of Cook County
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Special to suffredin.org
by Cook County Forest Preserve District
Visitors to the Forest Preserves of Cook County will soon have the option to rent bicycles and quadcycles, or four wheeled bikes for groups. The Forest Preserves of Cook County Board of Commissioners approved a contract with Bike and Roll, a bike rental company that will begin installing bike rental docking stations this summer.
“Renting bikes is yet another way we are connecting individuals and families to the forest preserves,” said Forest Preserves of Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle. “While cycling is one of the most popular activities throughout the county, not all people have access to bikes or live close enough to the preserves to enjoy our trails on their personal bikes.”
Bike rental concessions will be added to Dan Ryan Woods in Chicago this June, with additional locations at Tower Road, Blue Star Memorial, Bunker Hill, Caldwell Woods and the Chicago Botanic Garden available in the coming months.
“Our goal is to increase visitors to the preserves and maximize people’s experiences once they are there,” said General Superintendent Arnold Randall. “Bike rentals are a natural fit for accomplishing that goal and at the same time, help people explore the natural open space around them while engaging in physical activity.”
Up to ten bicycles will be parked at unmanned stations and available to rent hourly or daily with credit, debit and prepaid cards. Rates begin at $7 per hour or $28 per day. The Dan Ryan Woods location will have expanded rental options such as tag-along and wagon attachments, baby seats, and small and large quadcycles. A Family Center pop up structure will also have additional trails related concessions.
Customers will also have the convenience of checking bike availability online from mobile devices.
Bike and Roll will have a three year agreement with the Forest Preserves of Cook County and is responsible for installing stations and maintaining all equipment and vehicles. The Forest Preserves will receive and annual fee of $1,500 per location in addition to five percent of gross sales.