Indiana University, Bloomington plan bike-share program

People brave the elements while passing a Citibike station near Union Square in Manhattan on April 30, 2014 in New York City (John Moore/Getty Images)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Indiana University and the city of Bloomington are planning to start a joint bicycle-sharing program early next year.

Officials are looking for a company to launch the program with 150 bikes and eventually expand it to 850 bikes.

IU’s campus bicycle manager Kevin Whited says a bike-share program will help reduce the number of abandoned bikes that pile up around residence halls.

The (Bloomington) Herald-Times reports officials plan to offer bikes that can can be picked up and dropped off at existing bike racks. Users can locate, reserve, rent, lock and unlock a nearby bike by using a smartphone application.

Mayor John Hamilton says working with the university will provide a much stronger bike-sharing program for the community.