A bike share demonstration will arrive in Jackson this summer to determine if such a program should be permanent.

Bike share projects typically consist of short-term bicycle rentals in which users can grab a bike at one place and leave it at another. Such programs have operated for years in Seattle, New York City and Washington, D.C.

A $25,000 grant before the State Lands and Investments Board this week is expected to fund the three-week demonstration, although Friends of Pathways representatives said the experiment won’t depend on state funding. The county has long been interested in a bike share system.

“This isn’t a bike thing, this is a transportation thing,” said Jack Koehler, Friends of Pathways program director.

County officials hope the concept will be funded with a $25,000 grant that the state investment board will vote on Thursday. The demonstration will take place between July 15 and Aug. 5.

Friends of Pathways will pay for the demonstration if the grant is not approved, Koehler said.

“It’s the size of project that we can help move forward, so that’s a good thing for us to do,” he said.

The bicycles will complement the START bus system, Koehler said, by giving bus riders a way to cover the first and last miles of their trips. For example, a hospital employee who lives in Teton Valley can use a bike share bicycle to get around town without a car, Koehler said.

The trial will consist of 25 to 35 bicycles deployed primarily at Home Ranch parking lot in Jackson, with hubs elsewhere around town, he said.

Users will be surveyed to help officials as they consider starting a permanent bike share, Koehler said.

A bike share program is recommended in the county’s draft integrated transportation plan, and a 2011 study indicated that it could succeed in Teton County.

Contact Michael Polhamus at 732-7076 or county@jhnewsandguide.com.

Allie Gross covers Teton County government. Originally from the Chicago area, she joined the News&Guide in 2017 after studying politics and Spanish at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

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