KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii — The nonprofit operating Kona’s bike-share program is in the process of applying for grants that could allow it to expand.
People’s Advocacy for Trails Hawaii (PATH) recently received a 180-day extension on its $250,000 contract with Hawaii County, The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported (http://bit.ly/2wSrLTI ) Monday.
Tina Clothier, the nonprofit’s executive director, said the extension allows for long-term bike stations on county property and secures special management area exemptions. But more money is needed for expansion, which county officials said won’t come from them.
“We probably won’t be seeking a new contract with the county,” Clothier said. “The expansion of the program right now is pretty much on PATH to seek out funds by writing grant requests and developing sponsorships for more stations.”
The nonprofit projected about 3,000 users in its first year — a projection that has been surpassed by about 20 percent, Clothier said.
“It’s exactly what we expected,” she said. “Most of our usage has been from visitors. But we do have some residents who have signed up as members.”
The nonprofit will submit a grant-in-aid request to the Hawaii State Legislature and plans to pursue funds from the Transportation Alternative Program.
Clothier expects to hear back late this year on a few other grants. The soonest expansion would come on the Big Island early next year.
The first target for a sister program would be Hilo, which Clothier said is adding more bicycle infrastructure like bike lanes.
Bike sharing would fit perfectly with Hilo’s downtown mobility plan, she said.
The nonprofit hopes to extend community membership, which ranges from $15 to $25 monthly for unlimited rides of 30 to 60 minutes, respectively. The organization will attempt to do so, in part, through partnerships.
Information from: Hawaii Tribune-Herald, http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/