The Students Fixing Bike Shares

NYU’s Bike Share program is a free and convenient way to get around the city.

Getting around New York City is rarely ever easy. Luckily for NYU students, NYU’s Office of Sustainability offers a completely free alternative to taxis and the subway that is good for the planet too — NYU Bike Share.

Nicholas Gordon, manager of the Office of Sustainability, believes the Bike Share Program is not simply another way to navigate the city, but also an important part of the NYU community.

“The program is completely run by students and that’s how we like it. A lot of other universities just hire a third party vendor that brings in some sort of a Citi Bike type program where they take care of the bikes and maintain everything, but it’s not really connected to the community,” Gordon said. “We like the fact that our program is very invested in students.”

Among those students is Gallatin senior Pio Tsai, one of three student volunteers who run the program. Tsai also said that the most important part of the program is the community that surrounds it.

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“This whole program started basically because we’ve had such hard-working students that are really passionate about making bicycling at NYU accessible to everyone,” Tsai said. “We have three students, 4,000 registered users, 60 bikes and 14 dorms. We split up all the dorms between us three.”

Tsai does not think the busy nature of the city streets should discourage anyone from riding.

“I hate the perception that people have that biking in New York City is dangerous and that only a certain few can bike here,” Tsai said. “The graduate students are the most passionate about the program. They’ve been outside of college and appreciate the amenities the university provides. When it’s nice we get up to 30 rides a day, but I have seen only about five accidents while I’ve volunteered here.”

Tsai also emphasized that the program is always looking for new riders and volunteers.

According to Gordon, the program’s dedication to building community does not stop with the NYU student body.

“We donate a large number of bikes that can’t be recycled into our fleet to a non-profit we work with,” Gordon said. “Workshops, group rides and all sorts of activities are done with those bikes for students in low-income communities. We try to be very connected on the community side and I think that’s what we want to keep strengthening and expanding.”

A version of this article appeared in the March 7 print edition. Email Taylor Nicole Rogers at [email protected]

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