Monday, October 26, 2009

National Park Service's "Employer Bike Fleet"

Recently I had the opportunity to visit the National Park Service’s (NPS) Headquarters here in Washington, D.C. Staff was kind to discuss their efforts at improving cycling at our National Parks and show off their organization’s bike fleet for NPS employees. As the terminology is amorphous at this time, I’m using the term “employer bike fleet” to represent a service only available to the staff of an organization, similar to an organization's car fleet. While employer bike fleets can use automated bike rental systems, the concept of bike-sharing is different as it's open to the public for short transit trips.

Earlier this year, Humana donated three automated rental stations to the NPS which they’ve used to connect three of their employment sites in and around downtown D.C. While their employer bike fleet is only for staff, the NPS expressed interest in growing the concept of automated bike rental for visitors throughout the National Park system as well as bike-sharing on the National Mall. What better way to see the park than to be closer to nature and let your eyes frame the scenery, rather than the car’s window frame the scenery for you.

Here is a video with Jason Martz, Bike Program Coordinator for the National Mall, showing how staff uses its B-cycle automated rental system.

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