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Houston Bike Share is replacing cars with free bikes after Harvey

It’s already secured 400 bike donations from two major manufacturers

Houston’s bike-share program, BCycle.
Houston’s bike-share program, BCycle.
Adam Baker/Flickr

As Houston rebuilds after Hurricane Harvey, which claimed 82 lives and damaged or destroyed over 100,000 homes, one organization has risen to address another devastation: the up to a million cars wrecked during the storm. Although driving is the default mode of transportation around town, Houston Bike Share—the non-profit that runs the city’s BCycle bike share program—believes bikes can help fill in the gap in the immediate aftermath of the storm, if not become a more popular way to get around in the long run.

To this end, the organization is running a program called “Keep Houston Rolling” to collect bike donations and distribute them to community members in need. It’s accepting bikes of all types, sizes, and conditions, as well as unused helmets, bike lights, and bike locks. Bike manufacturers Giant and Trek have already committed to sending 400 bikes for the cause.

“I think after the initial shock wears off, there are going to be a lot of people who have been relocated, who lost a vehicle and can’t afford a new one, who work by the hour or need to get around and aren’t going to be able to,” Carter Stern, executive director of Houston Bike Share, tells Fast Company.

Stern also hopes that these donated bikes can warm more Houstonians up to the idea of bikes as a viable transit option.

“I think viewing the mobility in a city less as a binary decision and more as giving people a healthy ecosystem of options–whether they want to ride their bike to work, ride their bike to the transit stop, drive their car and then ride their bike to lunch–whatever it is, giving people options,” he says.

Via: Fast Company