Monday, August 17, 2009

B-Cycle® Bikesharing in Honolulu

First, watch this video or check out this awesome website! Learn what bike-sharing is all about and why its popularity has already took off around various European cities and Universities across America.

A few months ago I stumbled upon this article from last December while inquiring about whether or not bike-sharing is appropriate for UHM:
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="540" caption="CLICK PICTURE FOR ARTICLE
The initial layout of the proposed bike-sharing system in Honolulu"]The initial lay-out of a European-style bike-sharing system in Honolulu[/caption]

Yes, this article is outdated. Unfortunately, after receiving the "go ahead" and funding for most of the Downtown area and Waikiki, this project got held up at tangle of bureaucracy on our campus.

I begun a dialog in the beginning of the summer with the B-cycle's Hawaii affiliate, Momentum Multisports Hawai'i and the various relevant departments around campus to discuss stations being set-up in UHM. As of then, the pilot has been moved to Kailua.

Momentum Multisports Hawaii CEO Nguyen Le came to speak to our executive committee and our Chairperson for Student Affairs, Eve Millet. Her committee has decided to take spearhead this initiative and are currently in the process of gathering student support/opposition for this project.

For UH Students, their are additional benefits to convenience and health. My thinking is that this system in conjunction with the Rail Transit System, the $20 U-pass and Zipcar, incoming students will be discouraged to bring personal automobiles to campus. This will, in turn, help alleviate parking and reduce our University's carbon footprint for a more sustainable Honolulu. Ideally, I would like to see this system include FREE access for students, 3 stations on campus, and an integration of UH ID cards.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="497" caption="Solar-powered stations take up the area of one parking space and feature a dozen heavy-duty, theft and damage deterrent, bicycles for immediate check out."]Solar-powered stations take up the space of one parking space and feature six heavy-duty, theft and damage deterrent, bicycles for check out.[/caption]

Let me know any suggestions you may have! If any funding is needed by Administration, we would need to see strong student support in order for this initiative to move forward.

Fortunately, after attending a meeting with Le, a few of his colleagues, and UHM Auxiliary Services, an agreement was made stating that if Momentum Multisports secures funding ($40,000/station) for a station on UH, a pilot project from Lower Campus to Waikiki will be given the go-ahead. If successful, this project could be extended throughout the city as initially intended.

I also floated this project by Chancellor Hinshaw during a meeting, and she surprisingly said that she would've supported the use of UHM as a pilot project if it was presented directly to her: she had no idea about it. Her main concern was the City of Honolulu's street safety for cyclists (Hawaii is currently ranked 22nd out of 50 states), but which fortunately is being taken seriously by both the city and the state and huge steps are being made.

Click here for more details on the City's planned bike-friendly improvements.

I'll keep you updated on this initiative as progress is made. In the meantime, feel free to shoot out any ideas or testimony you may have! (


  1. i was looking into this. i've heard that in big cities that it hasn't really worked yet. too many security issues, vandalism,etc. in a sense, not too sustainable

  2. That has been a huge problem in past generations of bike-sharing.

    These 3rd-generation bikes are actually pretty hard to vandalize, you need special tools to disassemble it and each bike weighs too much to pick up and throw in a truck.

    and...this IS the safest city in the nation, and very highly policed in the areas the stations will be.

  3. Hmm...too bad we don't still have Mayor Harris (an avid biker) in office--this would've for sure made the June 2009 launch. The University would've probably received enough pressure from the City and community members to push it forward. Mufi needs to get mufing!

  4. Bike sharing has been really popular in other cities, I'd love to see it take off in Honolulu

  5. That would be awesome, I'd love to use a bike now and then to get to places, but I really don't want to have to take on the responsibility of having to find storage for it.