Brusly is joining hundreds of urban cities using bicycle-share systems to promote exercise while reducing traffic and pollution.

The bike stations will be along the West Baton Rouge Heritage Trailway, which runs along the levee. Seven bikes will be stationed near the levee and seven more at Alexander Park, Brusly Mayor Scot Rhodes said.If the program succeeds, Rhodes said he hopes to expand the program to Addis by the sponsorship of more racks along the trail.

The bike share program is expected to be unveiled during the Spring, Rhodes said. 

Talk of the bike share program began two years ago, but a recent investment by Dow provided $23,000 to kickoff the program under the condition that Dow employees use the bike rentals free of charge by entering a code on the app.

A portion of Dow's contribution will be used for maintenance and replacements. The town of Brusly also plans to install security cameras to deter vandalism.

"It’ll be a neat project at no cost to the taxpayers," Rhodes said.

To participate in the bike-share program, users must download the Koloni app available for Apple and Android phones. The app unlocks the refurbished bikes at the station once the user established payment. The price for using the bikes has yet to be determined, Rhodes said. Seattle's bike-share program cost 15 cents a minute to ride, and low-income persons qualify for a discount.

Docks are computerized bike racks that lock the bike and release it through the app. Those who borrow the GPS-enabled bike may return it at any dock location. Once the bike is back on the dock, the payment charging stops.

When Rhodes was elected, he envisioned the town utilizing the outdoors through what became the five-mile-long West Baton Rouge Heritage Trailway.

The adult obesity rate of West Baton Rouge Parish was 35.5 percent in 2015, though the access to exercise opportunities rate was ranked as one of the highest in the state.

There are plans to improve sidewalks along St. Francis Street for 2020, according to WBR's Director of Public Works Kevin Durbin, to continue the influence of recreation and expand the parish's trailway system.

In 2017, Louisiana had the sixth highest adult obesity rate in the nation — a rate steadily increasing. Meanwhile, Brusly and potentially Addis are on their way to become an ecosystem of bike riding, dog walking and sunset runs on the curling sidewalks that reflect against rippling water.

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