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Solana Beach to participate in bike-share program

Solana Beach last week became North County’s third coastal city to sign up for a regional pilot bike-sharing program.

City Council members voted 4-0, with Kelly Harless absent, on Wednesday, May 8, to approve a licensing agreement with Gotcha Ride LLC.

By accepting the agreement, Solana Beach joins Encinitas and Del Mar as the cities to date that have formally committed to the year-long project.

Encinitas is the lead agency in the project, which is eventually expected to include Carlsbad, Oceanside and Camp Pendleton.

The goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by providing alternative transportation to gas-burning vehicles.

Based in Charleston, S.C., Gotcha runs nearly 80 ride-share systems throughout the United States, mostly in the East.

In Solana Beach, Gotcha plans to rent bikes powered by pedaling, but assisted with electric motors to help riders to surmount hills.

Customers will obtain the bikes at hubs with racks set up around the city by using the company’s online app and their credit cards.

Initially, Gotcha plans to offer 100 bikes available at 13 hubs. The numbers could change based on usage trends and the city’s preferences.

The system is expected to begin operating in July following the San Diego County Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

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