News King County Rolls Out Green Bike Program
posted by August 27 at 14:10 PMon
King County has rolled out its Green Bikes Project (GBP), a partnership between the county, the Cascade Bicycle Club, REI and local businesses to cut down on car commuting.
The GBP will provide 200 Novara bicycles to employees at partner companies—Foss Maritime, Expedia, Zymogenetics, Perkins Coie, Boeing, REI, Swedish Hospital and other—who commit to riding to work through May 2009. Companies must provide secure bike parking and access to showers and employees must take safety classes and sign a liability waiver.
“We spent a lot of time encouraging people to drive. We built houses out in the burbs, schools out in the burbs, this is turning things around,” says Cascade Bicycle Club Advocacy Director David Hiller, who refers to the GBP program as “social marketing.”
While it’s an interesting idea, we’re about to head into our dreary, nine-month rainy season. Although GBP participants aren’t required to ride between November and February— GPB also operates on an honor system and rider mileage will not be tracked—Hiller doesn’t see the impending crappy weather as a problem. “This is really the time to test people’s tolerance for 42 degrees and drizzle,” he says. “I have a felling that the bikes will all be spoken for in very short order.”
GBP participants may get to keep their bikes when the pilot program ends, and Hiller hopes companies will start up their own biking programs. The county is waiting to see how the program goes, and there probably won’t be any talk of expanding or continuing the program until next year.