Topeka, KS Editorial: Thriving bike-share program merits funding

When Topeka Metro Transit Authority launched a bike-share program in the spring of 2015, few would have predicted the success the program would become. Under the leadership of energetic director of bicycle operations Karl Fundenberger, Topeka Metro Bikes has grown into a network of 300 bicycles, 19 stations and over 140 in-network community bicycle parking hubs spread over a 60-square-mile service area.

The program has had more than 5,000 signups, with riders taking over 50,000 trips and pedaling 110,000 miles. Bright blue Topeka Metro smart bikes, each tracked by the program using GPS, are a common sight at schools, parks, public events and cruising local roads. As one of only 130 bike share programs across the United States, a bike share program as robust as Topeka Metro Bikes in a community the size of Topeka is a rare gem.