Bike share program in Charleston

Sean Flood, CEO of the Gotcha Group, rides a Gotcha Bike on King Street. The company is the operator of Charleston's bike share program, which kicks off May 30. File/Staff

The city of Charleston's much-anticipated bike share program will launch in late May as part of local Bike Month events.

The new program's launch is among more than 20 events organized or supported by the nonprofit biking advocacy group Charleston Moves.

Community leaders and the public will gather at 11 a.m. May 30 at the MUSC Urban Farm on Bee Street for the bike share launch. After the ceremony, inaugural riders will begin distributing the system's initial 250 bikes to stations across the city.

Gotcha Bike is the operator of the system, and the sponsor is the Medical University of South Carolina. Riders will pay to use a bike on either an hourly basis or by buying a long-term pass. 

“We can’t wait to celebrate with the local bike community as we move towards connecting our city in a safe and fun way,” said Sean Flood, CEO of parent company The Gotcha Group.

Bicycling magazine last year put Charleston in its "Hall of Shame" and labeled the city the nation's worst for biking.

More residents are riding bikes for travel needs, but many of the area’s elected officials are actively ignoring the needs of their constituents, said Katie Zimmerman, executive director of Charleston Moves. The city had the largest increase in bicycle commuters in 2009-13, she said.

“This discrepancy is exactly why we need citizens who already ride a bike, or want to start riding a bike, to join us throughout May for Bike Month Charleston,” Zimmerman said.

“Bike Month is a time for celebration, for action and for showing our elected officials that not only do we want to bike safely, but there are ever-increasing numbers of Charlestonians joining our people-powered movement.”

Sponsoring the events are Gotcha Bike and Crews Subaru of Charleston. For the full calendar, go to charlestonmoves.org/bike-month.