Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Calgary U-bike program

If cyclo-mutting were as easy as grabbing the nearest striped style-mobile and hitting the pavement, I bet more co-eds would eschew the guzzler......see how the U of Calgary is testing that idea. The University started a free bike-sharing program last year, where students can ride designated bikes around campus, free personal taxis.

The bikes are single speed, yellow and red striped bikes - color intended to dissuade theft. I would SO ride one, how cute is that bike???

Theft prevention or sheer good will are on their side - program has grown from 10 discarded/rejuvenated old bikes, to a working fleet of 30 in one year. A great program, other US schools should emulate this one.

As so often, read about this on Treehugger, love it.


Alex Thompson said...


We do something like this at UCLA - it's called BruinBikes. We're about 1 year behind Calgary. We did a pilot program last year and now Transportation Services is giving us some money to do it this year. We have about 12 bikes and will hopefully have around 30 like Calgary by the end of the year. We buy the bikes on the cheap from online police auctions and then refurbish them at the Bike Kitchen. We rent the bikes on a quarterly basis for about 30$ a quarter . . . but maybe someday we can reduce that to 0$.

Also - UC Davis and Fresno State are among US universities which have similar programs. I believe UC Davis gets a big shipment of bright red bikes each quarter and loans them to students. The bikes are refurbished and painted by prisoners.

Alex T

Anna said...

Thanks Alex, cool to hear UCLA has something going on.....send me some pix or info and I'll post about this next!

Tim Harvey said...

A few months ago, I was impressed to pick up a newspaper in Colombia where I learned about an ambitious project that is ongoing, and growing, on campus of the national university in the capital, Bogota. Engineering students were challenged to create a cheap and distinctive bicycle design which would be produced on-campus and distributed free, all paid for by the university. Several hundred have been distributed, and because of the distinctive frame geometry, the are instantly recongnizable and theft is not a problem.

Colombia gets too bad a rap internationally, but here's evidence that the nation is leading the way with campus cycling initiatives! I wish I'd kept that news clipping.

It makes me dream of city-wide free-bike programs - what a great investment in quality of life for any city! And then ban cars from the city core. Free bikes, no cars, a recipe for happiness. Bike-taxis for the lazy or impaired.