May 4, 2011

After Delays, Big Red Bikes Rolls Out for First Day

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Amid cheers and clanging bells, about 20 white-helmeted Cornellians rode their new shiny red bikes Wednesday for the launch of Big Red Bikes, a campus-wide bike sharing program.

“We hope it builds a great bike culture on campus,” said Sarita Upadhyay ’11, co-president of the organization.

Kwame Badu-Danso ’13 was the first student to use the service. He said that he planned to ride home to Risley Hall on North Campus.

The launch of the program follows several stalled attempts. The program was initially scheduled to begin at the start of the 2010 to 2011 school year, but was stalled due to liability concerns from Cornell Risk Management.

The program had initially planned to have multiple stations on campus to check-out bikes, but it will only be located at Uris Library for this semester. The organization hopes to add a second location at Mann Library at the start of next semester.

Student Assembly Representative Adam Nicoletti ’12, vice president of finance, said he was glad Big Red Bikes finally launched.

“We’re really pleased and excited Big Red Bikes finally got off the ground after years of planning,” Nicoletti said.

“The process was more difficult than we imagined, but seeing the bikes here and seeing our first customer made it all worthwhile,” Martin Leung ’13, the organization’s other co-president, said. “I’m looking forward to seeing it expand.”

Upadhyay, who has been involved since the program’s conception, said she was glad that it launched before the end of the semester.

“I’m really relieved that it happened before I graduated,” Upadhyay said. “It’s really rewarding to see.”

Original Author: Laura Shepard