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Bike Share on Governors Island

I went out to the first free Friday on Governors Island and met dozens of people taking advantage of this carfree biking oasis. Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation (GIPEC), Transportation Alternatives and Bike and Roll have joined forces to create what they are calling New York City's first sustained bike share program. Every Friday between June 6th and October 4th, Governors Island visitors can rent adult and children's bikes at no charge. On Saturdays and Sundays bikes can be rented at cost. To find out more about biking on Governors Island, click here.

[intro music]

Leslie Koch: [00:17] We are on Governors Island. I’m standing in front of Bike and Roll. For the first time we have bike rental on Governors Island and we have free Bike Fridays, which means that all the bikes you see behind me are free.


[music]

Ettai Karty: [00:35] These bikes are beach cruisers which means they’re like a single speed bikes. Trying to keep it simple around the Island.


Speaker: [00:44] We were just channel surfing and they mentioned something about free bikes on Governors Island. I’d never been here and I love biking and I’m visiting from California, so what could be better?


Speaker: [00:51] I came out because I heard that they were doing free bikes on Fridays and I thought it would be a cool thing to do. I’ve never been on Governors Island, so it got me out here. It has been years so I’m actually kind of worried.


[music]

Speaker: [01:27] Pretty great.


[music]

Speaker: [01:30] With the way the gas prices are going I think this is my next vehicle.


[music]

Leslie Koch: [01:36] We do this with Transportation Alternatives and we’re incredibly grateful for their sponsorship of this free opportunity to show how much New Yorkers love to bike for free, and to give ideas that New Yorkers will return their bikes and keep them in good condition. And we hope that people will be looking at this example and hopefully extending it off the Island, perhaps that other Island across the river, called Manhattan Island.


[music]

Ettai Karty: [02:02] We’re trying to make New York more bike friendly and bike accessible, so this Island is a great opportunity for bikes.


[music]

Speaker: [02:12] This was a really nice day.


Speaker: [02:15] Next I guess I’m going to bring my children here before the summer’s over.


Speaker: [02:18] It was a great day. I had a great time. I was able to ride a bike after ten years of not riding a bike, and it was a great plug for this place to finally come out and see it.


Speaker: [02:27] This is the perfect symbol of democracy. No matter where you live in New York City, you can hop on mass transit to get to the free ferry and ride free bikes.

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  • http://anal0g.org Jared Burke

    Yet another great video. In Copenhagen, you can rent public bikes simply by cramming a Danish kronar into a locking mechanism that releases the bike from the rack. Reinserting the bike into any of the dozen or so public bike racks scattered across the city releases your kronar which you can then use to buy ice cream!

  • fafacious

    I can't wait to get to Governor's Island. I almost went last weekend, but I now know just what I missed out on, damn it! Though, It'd be real sweet to see something like Bike and Roll in the five boroughs.

  • http://www.livablestreets.com/people/Caroline Caroline Samponaro

    Just to clarify, Bike and Roll is the name of a bike rental company that operates all over NYC and all over the country.

    What would be great to see all over the five boroughs is a bike share program. Transportation Alternatives is sponsoring the Free Friday rentals on Governor's Island to draw attention to how great it would be if public bikes were one of New Yorkers many public transportation options, compatible with any metro card. Check out this website to see what other cities around the world are doing: http://www.worldcitybike.org

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/bicyclesonly/collections/72157603553344699/ BicyclesOnly

    This allows two types of experiments: people thinking of trying bicycling out for the first time can do so for free in a car-free environment, and decisionmakers considering a broader bike share program can see whether loaning bikes for free in NYC poses obvious and insurmountable problems (I don't think there are amny, but the decisionmakers thus far seem reticent).

    I'm looking forward to giving it a try during the "Figment" event starting June 27th on Governor's Island. Last year's was and drew broad participation from the bicycling community.

  • jonathon purcell

    THE BIKE RENTALS ARE SCAM ARTISTS. FIRST THEY TELL YOU THE BIKES ARE FREE ON FRIDAY. THEN WHEN YOU RETURN THEM THEY TELL YOU, OH , NO, JUST THE FIRST HALF AN HOUR AND THEN ANOTHER YOUNG MAN SAYS , WELL, THE FIRST HOUR IS FREE. CLAIMS THERES A SIGN INFRONT. THERE’S NO SIGN!!! THEY HOLD YOUR DRIVERS LICENSE HOSTAGE UNTIL YOU PAY. WHAT KIND OF BIKE RENTAL KEEPS YOUR DRIVERS LICENSE. WHEN YOU RENT A CAR THEY DON’T KEEP IT. I WAS WORRIED FROM THE START I WASN’T GOING TO GET IT BACK . THE RENTAL PLACE IS VERY AND “VERY” IS A UNDERSTATEMENT -POORLY MANAGED. YOU CAN’T BLAME THE KIDS WHEN THEY SEE A HUSTLE AND WANT TO MAKE AN EXTRA BUCK. I WOULD SAY AT THE VERY LEAST THERE SHOULD BE PARENTAL SUPERVISION IF YOU ARE GOING TO LET CHILDREN RUN A CONCESSION. MY ADVICE WOULD BE TO BRING YOUR OWN BIKE.

  • http://www.govislandblog.com Ellen Cavanagh

    Hi Jonathon,
    I’m so sorry to hear about your experience with Free Bike Friday, but I’m glad you said something. Bicycles are free for the first hour every Friday, courtesy of Transportation Alternatives. After the first hour,the bikes are $5 for a 1/2 hour or $10 for up to 2 hours. You can also check out the Governors Island website for more information about Free Bike Fridays: http://www.govisland.com.

    Governors Island, Bike and Roll and Transportation Alternatives are looking into this incident and will be in touch with you shortly. If you have any further concerns, please contact us again at info-gipec@empire.state.ny.us.

    Ellen
    Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation

  • http://intranet.parliament.ge George

    Are helmets offered? Can I get one? Having a large head, I find it hard to buy a decent hat that fits, much less a helmet.

  • Deylite

    Govenor's Lying Island-yes..Ive had that same sinking "you got scammed" feeling in my gut when I found out the truth about the "so called" free biking too!It's sad that it is so hard to find an honest promotion about anything these days-everyone seems to think it's cute to with hold the truth-even this video LIES!!!why not simply say "first hour free biking"?I guess you can't help lying when it's in your dna.They also lie about what time the last ferry leaves-if it's 7pm they say 6pm-Ive stayed behind several times only to see 2-3 more ferries pull out(they just can't help lying!

  • Deylite

    P.S. over by the park while your are trying to relax and take in the view they have some weird new age-flower-chiild type horrible singing being played 24/7..(supposed to be artsy i guess-theyve convinced themselves that the public is enjoying this bad singing (obviosly the person responsible for this ear ache must know some official because no one else anywhere off that island would tolerate such a bad sound. If you have to force it on people it isnt art at all.