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Tahoe Embraces New Bike Share

  

A few hundred brightly-colored lime-green bicycles have been seen around South Lake Tahoe since mid-July. That's when The League to Save Lake Tahoe - the same group behind Keep Tahoe Blue - brought in a bicycle-sharing system called LimeBike.

"The numbers have just been through the roof," said Jesse Patterson, the League's Deputy Director.

He said ridership at Tahoe is outpacing similar programs in larger cities, including Seattle. Patterson said the system's rapid acceptance has a lot to do with the demographics of the people who both visit and live in the area.

"We have evidence of locals using it to commute to and from work now as their primary source of transportation, and then heavy use in visitor areas," he said. "People in Tahoe don't want to sit in traffic, and we all know how bad the traffic has gotten."

The bikes are embedded with GPS tracking and they don't have to be returned to a docking station like many bike-share programs. A smartphone app helps you locate the nearest free bicycle.

Patterson said the average ride is 17 minutes, and each time somebody chooses to hop on a bike instead of get in a car, it helps with the greater effort to protect Tahoe's clarity, as vehicle exhaust is one of the main contributing factors to algae growth in the lake.

The pilot runs through October.

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