Here’s a big shout out to the biggest player in our little hometown of Charlottesville: The University of Virginia. This week, U.Va. upped the green factor for universities by launching a bike-share program called UBike. Now, with the punch of a few numbers or the swipe of a card, students, faculty, and staff members alike, can reserve a bike, pick it up from one of 18 stations across Grounds, and peddle to their hearts content to where they need to be.
The University partnered with bike-share veterans Social Bicycles to bring the program to Grounds. The company provided the 120 bicycles, hardware, and software, while Charlottesville’s Blue Ridge Cyclery was brought on to maintain the bikes and help set up the sharing system. The bike shop is also giving discounts on helmets to bikers who sign up for UBike.
As we all know, biking is great for your health and the environment. And as part of its technology, the UBike program can track trips taken, miles traveled, calories burned, and carbon offset. During recent testing, 41 cyclists biked 124 miles, which, according to University officials, saved nearly 60 pounds of carbon emissions and burned 2,600 calories. So long to the freshman-forty!