Faculty and staff will soon have another option for getting around campus and Ann Arbor following an announcement late last week that a local bike sharing program is returning.
The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority, the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority, the city of Ann Arbor, and the University of Michigan have announced ArborBike will once again hit the streets after a nearly yearlong hiatus while the program found a new operator.
Shift Transit, a full-scale operator of bike-share systems that currently operates in Detroit, Toronto, Tucson and Chattanooga, will now operate the program. Shift Transit manages 475 stations and 4,850 bicycles for its partner cities, and members took more than 1.6 million trips last year.
“Bike sharing is a key piece of the community transportation system.” said Steve Dolen, executive director of Logistics, Transportation & Parking. “Relaunching ArborBike with Shift Transit provides a great mobility option for the campus community that helps reduce parking demand, vehicle emissions, dependency on single occupancy vehicles, plus supports the university’s MHealthy initiative.”
The membership-based ArborBike system first launched in 2014 with more than 100 bicycles and 14 bike stations, including five on campus. At that time, the university pledged $600,000 to help cover the first three years of operations.
Some details of the program, including the exact date of the relaunch, are still being worked out with Shift Transit, according to university officials.
Chris Simmons, business services program manager for the AAATA, called ArborBike a “crucial link in the overall transportation network between the university campus, downtown, and neighborhoods near downtown.”
“We are looking forward to leveraging the expertise of Shift Transit to take ArborBike to the next level of productivity,” Simmons said.