Harvard has received Gold level Bicycle Friendly University (BFU) designation making it the highest-ranked BFU in the Ivy League and New England, and one of only 10 gold level BFUs nationwide. The League of American Cyclists, which gives out the awards, noted the University’s deep commitment to biking as well as its employee benefits that encourage biking and significant participation in the Hubway bike-share system.
“Campus leaders are recognizing the real-time and long term impact that a culture of bicycling can create,” said Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists. “We applaud this new round of colleges and universities for investing in a more sustainable future for the country and a healthier future for their staff, students and surrounding communities.”
Harvard has long supported the installation of bike infrastructure from bicycle racks to dedicated lanes and routes. The Harvard Sustainability Plan sets out a commitment to increase the bikeability and safety of the streets in and around Harvard’s campus. Harvard’s application for the BFU award was spearheaded by the University’s CommuterChoice program, which provides the Harvard community with a wide-range of sustainable transportation options from discounted MBTA transit passes to programs that encourage walking and biking.
“I think it’s fantastic that the University puts an emphasis on alternative forms of transportation like biking,” said Myre Nore of Harvard Business School who bikes to campus daily from Brookline. “The bike repair stations and covered bike racks really make it easier for those of us who commute by bike.”
Harvard School of Public Health employee Kelly Blondin agrees. “The University is clearly trying to make biking easier. I bike from Cambridge to Longwood every day and the reimbursements I receive for tune ups and maintenance are great. I’m looking forward to watching Harvard do even more for the bicycling community.”
As one tangible example of Harvard’s commitment, the CommuterChoice Program hosted Hubway on Thursday, October 23rd at Harvard’s campus for the launch of the Emerald Explorer bicycle, a one-of-a-kind, limited edition, "unicorn" Hubway bike designed by Harvard employee Amy Fater, winner of the #HubwayEveryday Bicycle Design Contest.