Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Community bicycle sharing programs are growing in response to overcrowded, inconvenient, or (in some cases) inadequate public transit systems. This "green alternative" is much cheaper than expanding or upgrading current public transit and much friendlier on the environment (and waist). Here are examples of community, campus, and corporate bike-sharing programs that could serve as models for others.
Community bicycle sharing programs go by a number of names, such as White Bikes, Green Bikes, Maroon Bikes, SmartBike, and Yellow Bikes. Yellow Bike programs have been popular in Austin TX, Portland OR, Decatur GA, Pittsburgh PA, Rapid City SD, and Lexington KY. However, retaining the inventory of bicycles is often problematic as the bikes frequently disappear.
In spite of this drawback to bicycle sharing programs, they are also gaining popularity on university campuses, including Middlebury College, Northern Arizona University, University of Vermont, Eckerd College, St. Cloud State University, and Texas A&M.
Humana (Louisville KY) has created a successful corporate bike-sharing program for employees and will co-sponsor a bike-sharing program in Denver for the Democratic National Convention in August and another in the Twin Cities for the Republican National Convention in September.
Have you considered starting a bike-sharing program for your community, campus, or company?