Bike sharing system a must

While I was out east for the trip of a lifetime this summer, I saw a bunch of recurring similarities throughout most of the cities I visited.

One of those similarities was a bike sharing system. They are taking hold of those big cities, and it’s time Eau Claire hops on board.

When students come to the UW-Eau Claire campus, one of the things that intrigues them is the beauty of the city; at least it was a big factor for me personally. What better way to explore this great city in its entirety than on a bike, breeze whipping through your hair?

Bike sharing systems, such as Hubway in Boston has great perks. You swipe your card through the lock on the bike rack and drive away with the bike. Every half-hour or so, you rack up a bigger bill.

This would be great for sightseeing, but could also be useful for a variety of other reasons.

Imagine you are going to a class and you forgot your notebook at home. These bike sharing stations could be around campus or across the walking bridge for our convenience. Swipe the card, take the bike and zoom home.

The price for this service is minimal and does way more good than harm.

I, for one, like to have complete control over my day. I don’t like waiting around for the bus or a ride. Walking is fine, but if you need to get somewhere fast bikes are the way to go.

Eau Claire is a sustainable city, a “green city” if you will. Bike sharing makes a bunch of sense. This could save you money on gas, oil changes and maintenance to your car along with bettering our environment.

According to, there are a lot of different financing options available. You can pay $85 to use the bikes unlimited year round, a month pass costs you $20 and a day will run your bank account down $6.

That information is from the Boston shared bike program, but I don’t see how it would be hard to start something like this up in our great city of Eau Claire.

With the implementation of a system like this, local business sales could increase. When you are travelling from point A to point B, it is a lot easier to hop off at a local business when you are on a bike than to find a parking spot with your car.

According to, “When San Francisco made its Valencia Street less conducive to automobile travel and better for bicyclists and pedestrians, nearly 40 percent of merchants reported increased sales and 60 percent reported more area residents shopping locally due to reduced travel time and convenience.”

Oh, and as it turns out, humans need exercise to stay healthy. Biking is a great way to exercise so you do not become a slob.

You never know, you might have some fun while you are venturing from place to place. You could find something about this city you never knew, all while doing a solid for yourself and Mother Nature.