(Photo: UVM Medical Center)
Have you noticed the bright blue and green bikes around Burlington, South Burlington, and Winooski? They are part of the CATMA Greenride Bikeshare program. CATMA, in partnership with University of Vermont, Champlain College and the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission, launched the program to provide a high quality, cost-effective, and convenient form of alternative transportation to the region.
“Greenride Bikeshare enhances transportation options and connectivity by providing an affordable and convenient transportation option,” said Katie Martin, CATMA Program and Marketing Manager. CATMA developed the program because it sees a regional bikeshare program as a missing link in Burlington’s transportation system. “It also reduces car dependence, which improves air quality and reduces greenhouse gases. Daily biking is also a great option for physical activity.”
Where can I find a bike?
Use the map on Greenride Bikeshare website and app. There are bike hubs at the University of Vermont, Champlain College, UVM Medical Center, and other key locations in Burlington, Winooski, and South Burlington. You can pick up a bike at any self-service bike hub and return it to any other hub in the area. “It’s convenient,” said Monique Citro, OR communications specialist at the University of Vermont Medical Center. “I signed up when I needed to get to a meeting in the South End and the bus wasn’t taking me there. I knew I could drop off a Bikeshare bike nearby. Even though I have my own bike, this is easier for commuting.”
How do I sign up?
There are three plans:
Quick Trip ($2 for the first 30 minutes and $5 for each additional 30 minutes)
Monthly ($15 per month)
Annual ($50 per year)
Find information about payment plans and sign up at http://greenridebikeshare.com/. Because of the UVM Medical Center’s sponsorship of the program, all employees receive a discount.
How do I pick up a bike?
It’s easy: the bike’s SmartLock technology allows you to locate and access bikes through a mobile app. “I like that you’ve got all the info on the app,” Citro said. “You can see where all the different bike drop-off and pick-up locations are and unlock a bike for use.” The mobile app also tells the user how many bikes are available on any given rack.
What kind of bikes are available?
The bikes are designed for short 1-3 mile trips. CATMA uses the first “Smart Bike,” developed by Gotcha Bike, the nation’s leading sustainable bike-sharing program. The Smart Bike is lightweight and durable. It has rustproof frames, Kevlar seats, chainless belt drives, and puncture-resistant tires. All bikes have built-in smart-lock technology that allows users to locate the bike through an iPhone, Android, or computer. The bikes have 7-speed hubs with enough gears to get you up those tough hills. There are even a few E-bikes.
Do you provide helmets?
The bikeshare program does not provide helmets, but we highly recommend that you wear one. “Wearing a helmet reduces the severity of injury in at the event of a crash. It’s important to wear a helmet in any situation where you are at risk of a head injury,” said Chrissy Keating, injury prevention coordinator at the University of Vermont Medical Center. If you need a helmet, contact CATMA for resources for low-cost helmets, [email protected].