Biking on the canal just got a bit simpler.
The Canal Corridor Association announced the opening of the Morris and LaSalle locations of an I&M Canal Bike Share System on Tuesday. The Morris bikes are located in downtown Morris off of Illinois Avenue.
Additional locations in Channahon, Utica and Lockport are set to come online in the next two weeks.
The rental system is operated from an app downloaded to a smartphone. From there, patrons are able to rent one of the bicycles equipped with a basket, bell and headlight for $2.50 an hour.
The bicycles must be returned to the Morris location or to one of the sister locations in other towns.
The CCA’s bike share system plan received a 50% matching grant from the Illinois Department of Economic Opportunity, Office of Tourism. These funds were matched by communities, corporations and individuals to make the system operational for two years.
“The Canal Corridor Association is grateful for investment in the Illinois & Michigan Canal National Heritage Area, the nation’s first national heritage area by both the State of Illinois and several partners within our canal communities. The Village of Channahon and the City of Morris were early investors,” said Ana Koval, CCA’s president and CEO. “It’s really a regional system to encourage wellness and recreation all along the canal corridor.”
Morris resident Stacey Olson took the new bikes out for a spin Monday night.
“It was so easy to use. It literally took a minute to download the app, and I was on my way,” Olson said. “It was a fabulous way to see the canal.”
The Canal Corridor Association is designated by Congress and is the only local coordinating entity for the Illinois & Michigan Canal National Heritage Area.
Its mission is to maintain and enhance the historic, cultural and natural resources of the National Heritage Area.