General Motors may be a car company, but that doesn’t mean they’re blind to other transportation trends across the country. With bike sharing programs gaining popularity from coast to coast, GM has decided to implement a pedal program of its own.
In a joint effort with Zagster, GM now allows employees at the GM Tech Center in Warren, Michigan to use a bike sharing program that lets them better travel the 330-acre campus.
The program began with a 50-bike pilot program in July, and after mounting enthusiasm from employees, the bike sharing program is now open to all of the 19,000 employees working at the tech center. Comprised of 61 different buildings, GM employees regularly have to move between places by either walking, driving, or taking shuttle buses. The bikes are a low-impact, but much faster way of moving employees around, and doesn’t require the upkeep of shuttles. Employees seem to agree.
“This is an awesome idea,” said John Waechter, designing engineer at the Tech Center. “I can’t wait to quickly get to meetings without walking to a car and finding parking. This is good for exercise, good for on-campus mobility and a nice way to actually learn more about non-auto transportation.”
All that’s required to participate is for employees to register, and either use a smartphone app or send a text message to reserve a bike. Each bike station is solar-powered, and the bikes themselves are fitted with a basket big enough for a briefcase or laptop computer. Riders are required to wear helmets, which could mess up their hair, but that’s a small price to pay compared to what it gives back to the environment.
Who knows, maybe GM will actually get into the bike sharing business itself. I won’t hold my breath…but stranger things have happened in GM’s own history. Remember that time GM built airplanes? How about refrigerators? A GM bike sharing program doesn’t seem like such a stretch, now does it?