- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 28, 2017

HONOLULU (AP) - Bike sharing is nearing its debut in Honolulu, but some residents feel the program could have been planned better.

Honolulu’s new bike-share program will provide a means for people to rent bikes and return or pick them up at one of the 100 Biki stations across the city, Hawaii News Now reported (https://bit.ly/2sgHB9n ). Wyatt Gordon, a former intern at Bikeshare Hawaii, said the cheapest option for island residents is a $15 monthly pass or a $180 annual pass. He said both of these options are too expensive for the people who would use the program.

Gordon studied the market and found similar programs in Boston, Denver and San Francisco have an average price of about $85 annually.

“The way the pricing structure is now, I don’t see any locals really planning using this,” he said.

Bikeshare Hawaii CEO Lori McCarney, however, said the program’s pricing is solid. Bike sharing companies in other states have raised prices to combat a high cost of entry, so Bikeshare Hawaii is just trying to stay ahead of the curve, McCarney said.

“The systems on the mainland, some of their prices just don’t make sense so they’re changing them,” she said. “Instead of going back to where they started and work through all their problems, we have gone to where they are now.”

Two stations taking up parking space and blocking a sidewalk have also raised questions about planning.

Waikiki resident Camille Corvino said at one location the bikes stick out and people will have to squeeze into bushes to walk down the sidewalk. At another location, two crucial parking spots on Kalakaua Avenue are taken up by a station.

But these stations do not have to be permanent, McCarney said. They can be moved in response to any conflicts after the program is underway.

“We didn’t go around all willy-nilly like let’s put one here, or let’s put one there,” she said. “They were examined for safety for closeness and proximity to people who will use them. A lot of different considerations went into play.”

The program has 87 of its 100 stations ready to go.

Bikeshare Hawaii plans to debut the program on Wednesday and demonstrate how the bikes work.

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