Do bike-share programs make sense for the Jersey Shore?

…Asbury Park took a leap of faith and launched a multi-unit bike-sharing program. Riders can access bikes via a smartphone app at unmanned docking stations. It’s the first model of its kind at the Jersey Shore. And in the two months following launch, the program — which includes 30 bikes distributed between six stations — saw more than 1,000 trips, and attracted more than 600 members.

“The message is that bicycling is for everyone, and we’re trying the best we can to make that happen,” said Michael Manzella, Asbury Park’s transportation manager. “We want to be a biking and pedestrian mecca.”

Other shore towns may be following suit. Some can’t wait for this two-wheeled renaissance. Others think the idea needs a tuneup before it makes its way to the beach, where too much bicycling congestion can already be a headache, and where some city officials anticipate pushback from existing bike rental businesses. Either way, the offseason conversation happening now could have major implications for your pedaling routine come summer.

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