New bicycle sharing program coming to Tishomingo

TISHOMINGO, Okla. (KXII) - Kendra Parker, a Tishomingo resident and Murray State College instructor, said she is excited to hear about a new bicycle sharing program and believes it will be beneficial to the community, especially those without cars.

She said she had a female student last semester who would work a closing shift at Dairy Queen and walk back home.

"We're talking 10, 11 o'clock at night, which isn't very safe for a young lady to be out walking," Parker said. "So, I was like 'No, no, no. I'll give you a ride.' But for people like that, I think that would be an awesome, awesome program."

Laura Wood works for Johnston County Health Department and serves on the city council.

Wood said the city started a bicycle sharing program, called Hot Wheels, in 2015 with bikes donated from surrounding counties, using a free check out system.

However, Wood said there were problems that made the bikes unusable.

"They were already used bicycles, so to keep up maintenance was very difficult for us."

Wood said the new program called Bike Around Tish will be operated by a business, owned by Christy Pittman of Atoka, OK.

"Since (the city council) knew that the Hot Wheels program was successful, it was a no-brainer for her to come to Tishomingo and try out her program."

Pittman said she spent part of her college career at Murray State College.

She said, while she was there, she noticed there were no other means of transportation for students without cars.

She would walk to many places around town.

Now, she wants to make a change in a community that meant so much to her.

"I'm just super excited to be able to bring something to a community that's going to be healthy and it's going to be fun," Pittman said.

Pittman said there will be 35 bikes to start out located at 12 places around town like Tishomingo High School, Pennington Creek park and Murray State College.

The newer, sturdier bicycles will be a red color with wide handlebars and should fit most adults.

Pittman's company will be in charge of upkeep.

The bicycles will be one dollar to unlock and 10 cents a minute or a nine dollar a month subscription with unlimited rides. The prices may change, however.

Payments will be made through an app which will also include bicycle routes and locations.

Pittman said the bikes should make an appearance in early spring and that she is also working on rental canoes and kayaks for residents to explore Pennington Creek.

Pittman said anyone interested in receiving updates on the Bike Around Tish program or kayak and canoe rentals through Arrowhead Rentals can check out the Arrowhead Rentals Facebook page.

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