A long-awaited bike share program will begin May 8 with 500 bicycles available to rent from 50 locations around Baton Rouge.

Patrons will be able to look up rental spots through an app created by the company Gotcha. Southern, LSU and downtown will all have rental kiosks, Gotcha founder Sean Flood wrote in a Tuesday news release.

Riders can sign up for a day or buy a monthly or annual subscription. Over the next two years, Gotcha plans to expand to 800 bikes in 80 locations, the release states.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is a major sponsor of the program. Flood and Blue Cross Foundation President Michael Tipton said bike share is an important strategy to get cars off the road, protecting the environment while encouraging exercise.

“Supporting bike share is a perfect fit for our mission to improve the health and lives of Louisianians because these programs give communities a healthy, green, affordable way to get around,” Tipton wrote in a statement.


Follow Steve Hardy on Twitter, @SteveRHardy.