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By Devin Rose
Oak Parkers who want to give bicycling a try can now do so on a monthly basis with gpass, a new program from Greenline Wheels (GLW).
The Oak Park organization that promotes bicycling started gpass a couple of weeks ago after customers expressed interest in longer-term rentals, said Abby Miller, the director of programs. GLW has had hourly and daily bike rentals since August of 2010, said managing partner Tom Olis.
With gpass, residents can choose a road bike, cruiser or three-wheel bike to take to work or use for exercise starting at 8 a.m. The rider can have the bike out for as much of the day as they like as long as it's returned by 8 p.m. to GLW at 105 S. Marion St., Miller said.
The program encourages residents and/or employees in Oak Park — and the staff will be checking — to ride a bike without having to store it or take care of it. She said buying a bike can be intimidating because there are so many choices of models and many people wouldn't know what to do if their chain falls off or they get a flat tire. Gpass doesn't require as much of a commitment though people can pay extra for overnight rentals or additional equipment.
Miller said there's been a great response so far, especially from apartment-dwellers who are "coming out of the woodwork." She added the price is right at $45 per month. Many of the single-rider bikes can be rented for around $8 per hour or $30 per day. It costs $110 for three months, though the outdoor cycling program is scheduled to end in October. In future years, rentals will start in April.
Miller said one of the organization's main messages is to live local — Oak Park is a pretty small place with a lot going on.
"We're trying to take away any excuses for people not to bike," she said.
Orders can be placed at the Marion Street location, by phone at 708-725-7170 or online at www.greenlinewheels.com.
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