Lake County's first bike share program coming to Grayslake

  • A partnership called Grayslake Bike Share is working with Iowa-based Koloni Inc. to introduce a bike sharing program in Grayslake this spring. Rental locations will include the downtown village center, Metra station, College of Lake County campus and Central Park.

    A partnership called Grayslake Bike Share is working with Iowa-based Koloni Inc. to introduce a bike sharing program in Grayslake this spring. Rental locations will include the downtown village center, Metra station, College of Lake County campus and Central Park. Courtesy of Koloni Inc.

 
 
Updated 2/2/2021 8:30 PM

After three years of discussion, Lake County's first bike sharing program is scheduled to debut this spring in Grayslake.

Rental locations will include the downtown village center, Metra station, College of Lake County campus and Central Park.

 

The village, CLC, Grayslake Area Public Library and Grayslake Community Park District are partners in the program and will sponsor a set number of bikes and stations.

Organizers say the two-year pilot program will highlight the missions of the partners and have various benefits.

"A bike share program provides increased physical activity, supports social wellness when riding with others, enhances awareness of environmental wellness and generally improves one's outlook on life by reducing stress," said Lisa Aguilar, CLC's wellness labs coordinator.

The partnership, known as Grayslake Bike Share, is working with Iowa-based Koloni Inc. Rentals will be $3 for the first hour and $1 per hour after. The exact spots, number of bikes available and other details are pending.

Library director Sara Brown said the partnership goes to the mission of connecting the community, enriching lives and inspiring ideas. The library and park district will share a rental location.

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In 2017, Grayslake resident Mary Klees and David Husemoller, sustainability manager at CLC, began discussing the possibilities for a countywide bike sharing system.

Klees said there has been interest from other towns, nonprofit groups and government agencies, but a lack of data regarding how and how often the bikes were used has been an obstacle.

"We scaled back to a pilot program because a lot of interested parties outside Grayslake were at different timelines," she said. "The hope really in the end is to have a countywide bike share."

Grayslake has more than 22 miles of bike trails and access to an extensive system of local, county and forest preserve trails.

Klees said the pilot program, to be launched in late April or early May, can be a source for community cooperation, provide an alternative to driving, highlight environmental concerns and support the local economy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Instead of sitting in a car after dropping their child off for practice at Central Park, for example, a parent can bike the trails or ride to the village center, Klees said.

"I'm very interested in how the environment, local economy and community all work together," she said. "It's an opportunity for community members to become part of the solution by using a more carbon neutral transportation option."

The pilot is a variation of what Klees and others presented to the Lake County Forest Preserve District in 2019.

At the time, the consortium had a commitment for four bike stations of five bikes each, but it needed a minimum of 25 bikes to make a program with Zagster Inc. feasible.

The forest preserve was asked to sponsor a station at Rollins Savanna Forest Preserve, but it declined to participate, citing cost and other potential issues.

For more information about the program, email grayslakebikeshare@gmail.com.

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