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Loyola Bike Share Gets New Bikes

By Lindsey Miller in News on Apr 8, 2010 9:00PM

Photo by Duane Rapp.
Bike sharing programs have taken off in Europe in the past few years and in the U.S., well, they're moseying along. Loyola University Chicago's two-year-old campus bike share program, one of the largest in Chicago, has been popular so far, and it just got a vote of confidence: Bike and Roll Chicago donated 30 new bikes to the program.

Borrow-A-Bike is a student-run service, which allows Loyola students to check out a bike for free for 24 hours from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays. Volunteers maintain the bikes and teach students the basics of riding in the city. Previously, they were using 30 used bikes. Now, with the new bikes, their time spent on maintenance will be far reduced.

Saint Xavier University on the far-southwest side, launched a bike-share program called GreenBike for its campus last year. It uses French Veloway bikes, which are popular for bike share programs in Europe. The campus has 65 bikes available for checkout by students, faculty, and staff from docking stations around campus. It's free for the first 15 minutes, and $.60 per 15 minutes thereafter.

A city-wide bike share program has been talked about in Chicago for the past couple years, fueled by Mayor Daley's trip to Paris in 2007. A Chicago Tribune article (link opens PDF) from last year says the talks are stopped after the city rejected two expensive options. Another option would be a program similar to one that was implemented in Washington, D.C. in 2008, which asks companies (in D.C.'s case, Clear Channel) to pay for bikes and kiosks in exchange for advertising.