Sustainability

New York University Encourages Sustainability with Bike Share Program

NYU’s bike share program has affected not only the university campus but also the city.
By Evelyn Cheng, News writer

Neekul Desai, a junior studying economics NYU, is one of the 550 participants in the bike share program.

Neekul Desai, a junior studying economics NYU, is one of the 550 participants in the bike share program. (Photo: Evelyn Cheng)

As cities around the world find biking an environmentally friendly means of transportation, students at New York University have taken the initiative in New York City with NYU Bike Share. The program, which began last July, provides bikes to NYU students, faculty and staff free of charge. Users can pick up and drop off bikes between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. each day at five NYU residence halls.

Prior to participating in bike share, all users must attend an information session and sign a liability waiver. NYU Junior Zack Davidson is in charge of the bike share program and conducts the information sessions. “Keep your feet on the pedals . . . [and] bike sober,” Davidson said. “Don’t stay too close to a car’s doors [to] avoid getting doored.”

Bike share users are given a lock key and a helmet when they check in at the resource center desk, but they are not required to wear the helmet. However, bikers must stay off sidewalks – according to NYC law any biker older than 13 will be fined and have his or her bike confiscated.  If a bike share user gets into an accident, he or she should call 911.

One-speed Biria cruiser bikes used by the bike share program are rugged, lightweight, and designed for casual, not aggressive, riding.

The one-speed Biria cruiser bikes used by the bike share program feature lightweight, rugged steel frames. Maintenance issues are managed by the sustainability office. (Photo: Evelyn Cheng)

In addition to providing this free service for its members, NYU Bike Share strives to improve biking conditions in the city by alerting the city government to the needs of bikers. Anyone can contact NYU Bike Share at bike.share@nyu.edu with questions or concerns that the program then relays to the Department of Transportation.

Kerry Bartholomew, resource center assistant at Palladium Residence Hall, hands a helmet and a lock key to a student. To save costs and allow for easy integration into the campus, NYU Bike Share is managed by the staff of the residence hall resource centers. (Photo: Evelyn Cheng)

“[We’re] in constant contact with the government,” Davidson said.

NYU Bike Share’s efforts have led to the installation of more outdoor bike racks around residence halls by New York’s Department of Transportation.

With only 30 bikes for 550 members, NYU Bike Share hopes to expand its program as demand for bikes increases. “We have high hopes for the future,” Davidson said. “Ideally we’d have hundreds of bikes available at every single residence hall.”

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On behalf of egcheng.wordpress.com I would like to express my greatest appreciation to Zack Davidson, Neekul Desai, Evan Wattles, Kerry Bartholomew, the NYU Office of Sustainability, and the NYU residence hall staff for their help and patience in producing this story. Reporter Evelyn Cheng can be reached at echeng709@gmail.com
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