Saddle Up: Bike-Sharing Program Arrives in Tucson


Cities around the world are trying to be more bike-friendly. Some are doing so by building bike paths, incentivizing cycling and bicycle-related industries, and implementing bike-share programs. Berlin, Copenhagen, Barcelona and New York City are four examples of cities that have actively worked to promote cycling.

The popularity of bike-share programs in particular has prompted numerous cities to look into them, including the University of Washington , NYC and Vancity, a Canadian Credit Union. Now, the City of Tucson, Arizona has developed a "new City Cycle bike-sharing program of the city Transportation Department."The program started four months ago, and so far several dozen city employees have taken advantage of the fact that "City workers can check out bikes and helmets at eight downtown locations and use them for work or lunch." The program is still small, but two factors indicate that a major expansion may be in the works. First, "City Hall, the University of Arizona and Tucson's biggest private business, Raytheon Missile Systems, all have bike sharing on their mind." Second, "as one of only seven gold-level bike-friendly cities in 2006 by the League of American Bicyclists," and a great climate, Tucson is an obvious choice for bike-sharing.

Tucson has several incentives for implementing such a program, not least of which is "improving air quality and reducing fuel consumption," as well as getting "people who don't normally get on bikes to get on bikes to get the spinoff effect of more people maybe riding bikes to work," according to Tom Thivener, Tucson's bicycle and pedestrian coordinator.

For now, City Cycle consists of 23 KHS 3-speed Manhattan Green Bikes, and is funded "with $5,500 from a Federal Highway Administration alternative modes grant awarded to the Pima Association of Governments." Raytheon plans on purchasing 20 bikes for its employees, and the hope is that employee bike-sharing will spread to a majority of Tucson's biggest businesses.

Via: ::Tuscon Citizen

See Also: ::Velo-City: Cycle Tracks Will Abound in Utopia, ::What Some Drivers Think of Cyclists in Tucson, ::Christiania Bikes--an Icon for a Bike-Friendly City, ::Winter Tips for Summer Bicycle Trips: Part 1, ::Winter Tips for Summer Bicycle Tips: Part 2, and ::Guerrilla Bike Activists

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