Salt Lake bike share program offers transportation, recreation

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(Nick Como)
A row of GREENbikes are stowed at a bike share station in Salt Lake City. GREENbike is a great option for a leisure activity this summer. (Nick Como)

Sharing is caring, which is precisely the idea behind GREENbike, a bike share program in Salt Lake City that has become a popular recreation choice.

GREENbike helps individuals to get from point A to point B without the hassles associated with driving and also serves as a great weekend activity.

Users pay $7 for a 24-hour access pass that allows them to take any bike from any station throughout the city as many times as they would like. Riders must check the bike in at any station within 30 minutes to avoid a $3 fee but can immediately check out a bike again for no additional cost. This encourages users to make stops around the city for shopping, dining or exploring. Annual passes are available for $75 and increase the checkout window from 30 minutes to 60 minutes.

Perhaps the most prominent purpose of GREENbike is to provide an alternative mode of transportation that is good for the environment.

Downtown Alliance of Salt Lake City Senior Director of Communication and Marketing Nick Como recommended city visitors consider using the bike share.

“The idea behind GREENbike is to provide a fun and healthy way to get around town,” Como said. “It’s faster than walking and has none of the hassle of owning a bike. You get to burn calories, not fuel.”

According to the GREENbike SLC website, GREENbike riders prevented 573,458 pounds of C02 emissions from entering Utah’s air in 2015. That is the equivalent of burning about 30,000 gallons of gasoline.

In addition, participating in a bike share eliminates the risk of having a bike stolen, as well as the trouble of maintenance and repairs.

Kyle Simmons, a pre-business student at BYU, enjoys occasionally using GREENbike as a leisure activity on summer nights.

“I like GREENbike because it allows you to get outside and see Salt Lake while going at a pace you enjoy,” Simmons said. “I enjoy the different perspective that only GREENbike provides.”

Simmons has traveled to Salt Lake City several times in the past few years simply to ride bikes around the city. He likes bringing others along to introduce them to the activity, many of whom have now become regular riders.

Junior sociology student Mae Keller has also traveled to Salt Lake to ride GREENbikes with friends.

“GREENbike is appealing because of how easy and fun it is,” Keller said. “It isn’t just handy and eco-friendly transportation — it’s a super fun and relatively inexpensive dating activity.”

GREENbike recently added more than 100 new bikes and eight new stations, making a total of 330 bikes available at 33 stations.

Riders can download a mobile app called “B-cycle Now” that highlights bike station locations and bike availability throughout Salt Lake. For those without a smartphone, a PDF map with this information can also be downloaded.

According to the SLC Bike Share Facebook page, GREENbike is currently working on deals for students.

Como said Salt Lake is an appealing destination because it has a lot to offer.

“As Utah’s capital city, downtown is a representation of every resident of this state,” Como said. “All culture is represented here.”

For more information about GREENbike, visit www.greenbikeslc.org or find SLCBikeShare on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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