Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Democrats and Republicans to Have Bike-sharing at Conventions

Bike-sharing will be "bike-partisan" at both of this year's Democratic and Republican National Conventions, showing that bicycling is "neither left, nor right, but ahead" to quote the Green Party's motto. Both Conventions will use the Freewheelin program developed by Humana with technology from QI Systems. Humana and Bikes Belong will bring 1,000 bikes to Denver during the Democratic National Convention in August and the Republican National Convention in St. Paul in September. The bikes can be used for free by anyone looking for an alternative to automobiles during the convention.

According to a press release from the Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee for the Democratic Party:

"Amid the buzz of national Bike to Work Week, the Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee, Humana Inc. and Bikes Belong took steps with - or better yet, pedaled - a new initiative today to encourage bike use as an alternative mode of transportation during the Democratic National Convention.

"Denver Host Committee President Elbra Wedgeworth and Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper unveiled plans for a bike-sharing program called Freewheelin, part of Denver's efforts to support healthy living and environmental sustainability during the Democratic National Convention."

According to Pioneer Press regarding the Republican National Convention:

"Just in time for $4-a-gallon gasoline, that's the latest welcoming perk lined up on the red carpet for the Republican National Convention scheduled to hit St. Paul from Sept. 1-4.

"St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak announced Friday that 1,000 bikes will be stationed in the Twin Cities for use by visitors and anyone else looking for a free alternative to cars to get around during the convention.

"The effort is sponsored by the Humana Inc. health insurance company in conjunction with the Bikes Belong cycling advocacy group, which also plans to take 1,000 free bikes to Denver for the Democratic National Convention from Aug. 25-28.

"After convention-goers go home, the program, called Freewheelin, will leave 70 bikes in the Twin Cities, along with about 10 special bike racks as a seed for a permanent bike-sharing program in the community."

Way to go Humana and Bikes Belong. This is an outstanding idea to spread the concept of bike-sharing to individuals from around the U.S. With more bike-sharing proponents around the U.S., the greater the idea will spread and quicker the environment and public health will benefit.

image credit: Churchill County

1 comment:

rtrybak said...

Good to see there are other fans of bike share. It's true: We are setting up a program in Minneapolis St Paul during the Republican convention , thanks to Humana. We are also setting up an ongoing program and would welcome any advice from those of you who have been following this.

(BTW, help us spread the word about this to delegates, visitors and media coming to the convention. Every night I will be leadning delegates on a bike ride between downtown Minneapolis and the convention site.)

Mayor R.T. Rybak