PennCycle Launches Pilot Bicycling Program

PHILADELPHIA – PennCycle, a University of Pennsylvania student-led shared bicycle pilot program housed in Penn Student Agencies, will host a kick-off event Friday, March 16, from noon to 4 p.m. at Hill Field, 34th and Chestnut streets.

The event includes free test rides on PennCycle bikes, PennCycle subscription sign-ups, free food from local restaurants including Jimmy John’s, coffee and treats from Penn Student Agencies vendors and a student disc jockey.

PennCycle, the University’s first campus-wide bike-share program is open to all Penn students, faculty and staff.

“PennCycle offers a lot of freedom to its users, especially to those who are short on time and constantly on the move,” Jenny Xia, the PennCycle manager and member of the Class of 2014, said.  “We provide users with safety and security information, and it’s a convenient way for students to travel between classes. As springtime approaches, biking is a great way to stay healthy and save money on travel.”

Students and University officials spent a year planning the pilot program designed to meet the Penn community’s needs as a convenient, affordable and environmentally friendly alternative to other modes of transportation or to owning a bicycle.

Program coordinators collaborated with many offices and organizations across the University, including the College Houses, specifically Hill House, which helped consult regarding bike share logistics; Penn Student Agencies, which provided overall support of the business aspects of PennCycle; Neighborhood Bike Works, to maintain the bikes; Facilities and Real Estate Services, which facilitated communication with the Green Fund review board; Risk Management and Insurance, which advised the group regarding policies and risk waivers; and the Division of Public Safety and Penn Police Department, which advised the group about bike safety and security procedures. 

“The Division of Public Safety supports PennCycle, which allows members of the Penn community to rent bicycles when they want to leave campus, hit the Schuylkill River bike trails, etc., and offers safety information for biking in an urban environment,” Maureen S. Rush, vice president of the Division of Public Safety, said.  “In addition to working with the PennCycle program, Public Safety will also work with the Undergraduate Assembly and the Graduate and Professional Students Assembly on a bicycle safety education campaign, which will include information on avoiding head trauma through the use of helmets, bike security through the use of proper locking devices, U-locks and registering your bike and all of your personal possessions through the CampusExpress program.”

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