In late November the ToGo bike sharing program became a fun Tucson attraction only a bit less exciting than the Tucson Streetcar; it should prove popular with visitors as well as locals. No need to make arrangements through a local bicycle shop for an often expensive, but sleek trail bike or racing bike. If you aren’t too interested in fancy but just need wheels to look around town, this program will satisfy a lot of users.
Public bike sharing allows users to access bicycles located at a network of self-serve stations for short trips 24 hours a day and 7 days of the week. The bike itself may look more like the one you gave your middle school child. Painted a bright yellow, they are described as “hulking” and weigh 50 lbs. (according to Shift Transit, hired to run the system). Users report their ease of access and respectable speed on the road despite their heft.
The bicycles have lights fore and aft for visibility, good adjustable brakes and a small basket & bungee cord to allow for shopping stops.
The ToGo bike is Uber-like in that it has a smart phone app (CycleFinder in Apple iTunes and Google Play Store) which allows the renter to find available bikes and empty docking stations. If you don’t use a smart phone, Shift Transit offers daily passes for $8 at stations with payment kiosks or online here. This one is ideal for visitors, tourist & short term users. A monthly pass is also available for longer term visitors.
Tucson has 330 bikes docked in 36 stations around the city. One is located only six blocks from Sam Hughes Inn Bed & Breakfast, directly in front of the long standing neighborhood friendly, Bob Dobbs bar/restaurant and Rincon Market. Information on how to use and where to find the new ToGo bikes can be found here.