Metro, Regions Bank partner with bike share program

Sunday, July 31, 2011 at 10:05pm

Nashville is not known for being a particularly welcoming city for bicyclists. 

And though it’s unclear whether Metro’s “Nashville GreenBikes” program will ever seriously change those realities, the fact that the city is expanding its public bike-share program after only one year of operation is encouraging. 

Last week, Mayor Karl Dean announced Regions Bank is donating 100 bikes over the next two years, which Nashvillians can pick up at various spots (two currently and six eventually) and then pedal about town. 

“This is another major step in our efforts to make Nashville a more bicycle-friendly city,” Dean said. “The bike-share program improves the health of our citizens, our transportation system and the quality of our environment — issues that are important to me.”

The bikes will be the classic cruiser model Regions uses in its ads. Though the color suggests lime, Regions calls it “life green,” pointing to “fresh out of the ground” grass as an aesthetic influence. 

“The bike is a symbol of simplicity, a simpler time and simpler way of getting around,” said Jim Schmitz, Regions Middle Tennessee area president. 

The bank unveiled its retro green bike-marketing symbol in 2007, and the environmentally friendly approach dovetails nicely with the current city program, which offers 26 free blue-and-yellow loaner bikes at downtown’s Music City Star Riverfront Station and the Shelby Bottoms Nature Center. 

“Through this [donation], we’re making life better by encouraging members of the community to do something healthy,” said Schmitz, who declined to note the cost.

Downtown resident Alycia Buford-Penn said she uses the bike-share program every Saturday.

“We’re spreading the word to other family and friends,” said Buford-Penn, a fitness advocate who often walks from downtown to her job at Vanderbilt.

Buford-Penn said she has seen a continued rise in ridership, an observation bolstered by statistics: According to the mayor’s office, which oversees the program, there were 150 registered users in October. Today, there are approximately 500. 

3 Comments on this post:

By: FLeFew on 8/1/11 at 10:06

I do not welcome bikers on the highways!!!

1) They are unlicensed for the vehicle that they ride,
2) They contribute nothing to the maintenance of the roads
a) No vehicle license,
b) No gas tax which is used for raod upkeep,
3) They ignore traffic rules and regulations.
4) They think they own the road!!!

By: capt4chris on 8/1/11 at 1:46

Bicyclists don't want to be on highways. You'll only find them on local roads. In those cases they should be obeying road regulations. I'm sorry, but the rest of your arguments, for lack of a better term, are silly...

By: FLeFew on 8/2/11 at 3:14

capt4chris;

Here is a lesson for you - local roads are highways! US70 (West End) is a highway and a local road ... and the cyclists are there. The same for Franklin Road and Hillsboro Road with its ridiculous bike lane (paid for by automobile drivers and motorcycle riders) .

The arguements are silly only to one who refuses to see the light.