Have you ever wondered why crowded metropolises around the country often have bike sharing programs even though they have fully-functioning mass transit systems? Besides providing an immediate means of short-distance transportation, these programs encourage healthier lifestyles and can help lessen our carbon footprints.

As urban jungles (like Detroit!) continue to grow, so does the need for more efficient means of getting around. With more people moving to and starting jobs in the city every day, there is an additional need for space on the streets and sidewalks as more cars and busses begin to dominate the road.

The City Commute Solution

Enter bike sharing. The benefits of riding a bicycle are clear – it provides excellent cardiovascular exercise, gets people outside and can save consumers a substantial amount in gas alone. What’s more, the annual cost for using a bike-sharing system is more often lower than that of mass transit in many major cities. And using a shared bike is relatively worry- and commitment-free.

If the cost-savings and exercise aren’t enough for you, listen to this. A study by Portland State University’s urban planning school found that bicycle commuters receive more mental health benefits compared to those who drive, take the bus or walk when it comes to encouraging happiness. That’s right – you’ll be losing weight and liking it, while avoiding traffic gridlock along the way!

Having a convenient bike sharing program in the city that meshes with other forms of transportation just makes sense. It allows us to focus on other needs within the city without having to solely rely on widening or building new roads simply for the sake of more automobile traffic.

Bike Sharing in Detroit

Bike-sharing systems aren’t just for locals, either. When visitors and tourists come to Detroit, they will soon be able to visit the city’s iconic attractions, such as the stadium district, Detroit Institute of Arts, Motown Museum and others all by cruising on the sidewalks and streets.

When the Detroit Bike Share program, dubbed “MoGo,” opens for business in May, riders will have the convenience of renting a bike 24 hours a day, seven days a week, making it a perfect system for those riding to work during the week or exploring during the weekend. Passes will be $8 for daily, $18 for monthly and $80 for an annual pass. (How’s that compared to your price at the pump?)

This is another testament to the overall revitalization of Detroit as bike sharing systems become a staple in cities around the globe. The Motor City will soon join New York, Paris, Mexico City and many others in a new spin on an old favorite.

Ready to get riding? Discover more about the Detroit Bike Share program and how it will positively impact travel in the city. If you want to read more about the future of mobility and energy, check out our other Energy Future blogs for the latest on what’s happening in Michigan and beyond.

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