Gotcha Bikes

Baton Rouge’s long-awaited bike share program is set to launch at the end of June. Cokie Reed, community manager for Gotcha, said workers are currently assembling bike hubs in their warehouse. Gotcha’s next generation bike, the 3.0 model, are set to arrive in Baton Rouge in a week or so, she said.

Baton Rouge’s long-awaited bike share program is set to launch at the end of June, an official with Gotcha told the Downtown Development District Commission Tuesday.

Cokie Reed, community manager for Gotcha, said workers are assembling bike hubs in a warehouse. Gotcha’s next generation bike, the 3.0 model, will arrive in Baton Rouge in a week or so, she said.

“We’re going to do field testing, then after that, the bikes will be on the ground,” Reed said.

The program will launch with 500 bikes that will be placed downtown, at LSU and at Southern University. The bikes will have small electric motors that make it easier to pedal. Riders will use an app from Gotcha to pick up a bike at a designated hub. After they get to their destination, they return the bike to another hub.

The city-parish has a contract with Gotcha that is capped at $801,000. About a year and a half after the program is introduced, Reed said another 300 bikes will be delivered to Baton Rouge.

In other business, officials with WLFT-TV said they will launch a new channel focused on downtown. News Net 30 will introduce itself next month, with coverage of the Fourth of July events at the USS Kidd, said Lucas Fry, general manager.

News Net 30, which will air on channel 30.3, on Cox and Eatel, hopes to add a daily program, like the “Today Show” broadcasting from a downtown storefront. The program would feature interviews with elected officials, downtown developers and business leaders. “This will be a downtown facing channel,” Fry said. WLFT has made a name for itself with its MeTV channel, which broadcasts episodes of classic series such as “The Andy Griffith Show” “M*A*S*H” and “Charlie’s Angels."

The DDD also:

  • Heard from Jiang Pang, who owns T&T Café at 320 Third St. The café sells a variety of teas, including milk tea and milk cheese foam tea, along with healthy dishes such as sushi and poké bowls. T&T Café is open from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday.
  • Got an update that Driftwood Cask & Barrel, a gastropub at 326 Third St., has closed. Plans are to replace the business with Squeaky Pete’s, a country and western bar with live music. Dustin Molina will own the bar and hopes to be open for July 4, although no official opening date has been disclosed.
  • Met the new owners of Downtown Healthcare & Wellness. Drs. Mark Laperouse and Taylor Sanders took over operations at the clinic at 307 Third St. at the end of May.

Follow Timothy Boone on Twitter, @TCB_TheAdvocate.