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Bike Lending Models

Posted in Models by fedwards on February 2nd, 2009

The section below is republished with permission from the Going Solar Transport Newsletter #93, 27 January 2009, compiled by Stephen Ingrouille. Going Solar newsletter provides an excellent commentary on sustainable transport issues.

“Errand Bikes, funded by GetAbout Columbia [in the US], are changing the way some Columbia merchants are doing business. Instead of depending on a car for all of their transportation needs, bikes are becoming a popular option. The Errand Bike Program loans new, ready-to-roll bikes to businesses owners or employees so that they can run errands, attend meetings or make deliveries with them. The bikes can also be used to travel back and forth to work to give people the opportunity to try out the bike commuting lifestyle.
“Businesses are allowed to keep the bikes for up to 60 days and if there is not a waiting list they can be kept longer. Janet Godon, PedNet Outreach Coordinator, runs the Errand Bike program and said the goal is to loan the bikes to businesses so they can see if employees will use them for errands, deliveries, meetings or commuting. ‘Because it’s a temporary loan program’, said Godon ‘we hope they use the bike & find it helpful so that they will want to purchase their own or begin riding one from home’.
“That is exactly what happened to Michael Baroli, owner of 9th Street Deli. He received an Errand Bike in September and enjoyed the bike so much that he bought his own for business and personal use. ‘I was too lazy to ride a bike before’, said Baroli. The Errand Bike program showed him that riding a bike was easy and fun. ‘Now I ride my bike every day’. Baroli bought a Journey 6 semi-recumbent bike. ‘I only drive on Sunday’s now to do the heavy errands. Other than that I am on my bike’. Main Squeeze Natural Foods Café has also had an Errand Bike since mid-September and owner Leigh Lockhart has been pleasantly surprised. “We use it a lot more than I thought we would’, she said. ‘Besides bike deliveries, we use it for many errands that we used to walk to do’.
“The Errand Bike has also been saving the business some money. ‘Before the bike we always felt like we need a car here in case we had to make a trip for something we ran out of. Now, we can get to Clover’s on Broadway just as fast as if we had a car’, said Lockhart.”
Ref: Pedestrian & Pedaling Network (PedNet) Columbia, Missouri

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