CityRyde checks into Drexel
New software makes green transit services more efficient
Issue date: 1/14/11 Section: News
Drexel's bike sharing program, which has been around since spring 2008, has adopted new software from CityRyde that will make it easier to rent and return bikes. Drexel's current bike sharing program has 15 bikes that can be taken out and returned at the parking garage. Despite the convenience, time-consuming paperwork hinders the success of the program.
Timothy Ericson, CEO and co-founder of CityRyde cited "a bunch of paperwork on the student and Drexel side "as the reason for lack of student involvement in the program.
To solve the problem, Ericson invented Spark, an online bike-sharing program that works in conjunction with CityRyde. Using Spark, students can check availability of bicycles, view bike models and see any previous repairs or problems with the bike. Additionally, if the bike is available and in good shape, it can be reserved online.
The software was developed two years ago and has been used on other campuses, such as the University of Colorado and the University of Michigan. It automates the process of renting a bike - essentially making the process faster, more organized and easier for students to use.
"It gets you to class quicker; you can essentially go anywhere in the city on a bicycle. It really expands your horizons beyond our little world at Drexel," Tyler Chance, a freshman communications major and bike owner, said.
The new software "takes time off Drexel," Ericson said. This ultimately allows CityRyde to dedicate more time to expanding their program.
Ericson hopes the program will expand to have more stations to rent and return bikes. He wants to build stations in the dorms and on Hahnemann Campus, but needs Drexel on board.
"The program [Spark] statistically shows it leads to bike rental," Ericson explained. Increasing the impact of CityRyde on Drexel's campus will make bike rental more popular to students.
Ridaroo is an online service designed to facilitate carpools and ride-sharing between Drexel co-op students.
"The service is perfect for students who aren't sure how they will get to a co-op they applied for, or are interested in cutting their transportation costs," English major Danielle Goddard said. Goddard is currently on co-op working for the Steinbright Career Development Center.