Thursday, March 22, 2012

NYU Public Bike Pilot

For the past two years, New York University has had a 30-bike pilot program with 10 locations for its students and employees. The program is but a fraction of the 600 rental stations and 10,000 bikes that will make up the city’s ambitious program, which is to begin this summer. But N.Y.U.’s program does suggest that bike-share programs can work in New York City. On Wednesday, the university added 45 bicycles and made the program permanent. “The demand was very quickly outstripping supply,” said Jeremy Friedman, the manager of sustainability initiatives for the university, who has been working with students to organize the bike-share program. The program started in 2008, when Julia Ehrman, a student and cycling fan, sought to repair old and used bicycles for students to ride. But the cost was too high, so Ms. Ehrman applied with a friend for a grant from the university, and they were given $13,000. After they found that the used bikes were too expensive to repair, they reached a deal with Hudson Urban Bicycles to purchase 30 Biria bikes that the shop had bought for the city’s Summer Streets events. Despite the program’s popularity, it is still a bit of an unknown quantity to some students. Read on for much more in NYT here.

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