East Baton Rouge has been awarded a technical assistance grant from the Environmental Protection Service that will be used to set up a bike-sharing program in the city.

The city-parish was one of 22 communities to be awarded a grant from the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program. The grant will pay for EPA staff and national experts to come to Baton Rouge and hold a two-day workshop on how a bike-sharing program could be established, said Whitney Cooper, development project director for the Downtown Development District.

Cooper said the local workshop hasn’t been scheduled yet, but it will be held sometime in the next few months. “The idea is during that workshop, we create how a bike-share plan can be implemented,” she said.

In a bike share program, bicycles are made available to the public for a nominal cost on a short-term basis. Riders can get on a bike at one location, then drop it off at another rack. This encourages people to use bicycles as a form of environmentally friendly transportation for short trips.

A bike share program probably won’t be established until sometime in 2016, Cooper said. She noted the last time an EPA technical assistance grant was awarded locally, which was in 2012 for the downtown greenway program, it took about a year to finish the plan.

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