Ron on the Run: Green Bikes in Salt Lake City

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(KUTV) Downtown Salt Lake City is a whole lot greener with a major expansion of its popular Green Bike program.

"The system overall has been the most successful of its kind in the country," said Ben Bolte, Green Bike's founder and director.

Crews have spent the last several days installing new kiosks and bike ports around town, with the new additions you'll now see 33 stations and more than 300 bikes in the downtown area.

Bolte says they're trying to make Green Bike convenient for everyone.

"We have stations ideally downtown about every block or so and this expansion is really going to help that," he said.

Bolte got the system rolling four years ago, and every year they've expanded.

"Last year we removed over 600,000 vehicle miles, took almost a half billion pounds off local roads and we then we had 106 thousand trips on 200 bikes. We also have an air quality problem, so removing that many car trips makes a big impact."

Riders will notice the new bikes are sleeker and easier to ride.

"This bike is about 35 pounds," Bolte boasted as he did bicep curls with a bike.

There are 40 other bike sharing programs in cities across the country similar to Green Bike.

"Salt Lake has been one of our biggest and fastest growing systems, " explains Laura Andrews of B-Cycle. "It's a very bike friendly city and the station locations have been very well thought out."

This latest expansion cost about a half million dollars and is funded by The Wasatch Regional Council, Salt Lake City and the Utah Transit Authority. Day and annual passes are available.

"So you can pay $7 at the kiosk and you can take as many 30 minute trips you want for a day," Bolte says.

A one year pass costs between $25 to $100. Eventually Bolte says you will be able to buy a single pass that will get you on a train, bus or bike.

For more information go to the Green Bike website. They're also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @slcbikeshare.

Follow Ron Bird on Twitter @KUTVRon for breaking news, updates and more.

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