Chicago signs on with Oregon-based bike sharing program

The ultimate green form of transportation doesn't require any gasoline or alternative fuel sources and has been around for more than 100 years. Of course, we're talking about the bicycle. While it may seem like it's impossible to make the bike any greener than it already is, cities across the country have been taking advantage of a program that does just that.

Based out of Portland, Oregon, Alta Bicycle Share, Inc. designs, implements and manages bicycle sharing programs for cities. The company sets up stations filled with public bicycles all over metropolitan areas that allow locals to rent bikes that can be returned to any other Alta bike station in the city.

The next city to add the bike sharing system will be Chicago, which has been in the news a lot recently for its efforts to go green. Alta already had ties to the Windy City, having once employed Mayor Rahm Emanuel's transportation commissioner, Gabe Klein, as a consultant for the implementation of its bike sharing project in Washington D.C.

“The idea behind this is to create an environment that allows people to be more active by making changes to our infrastructure and environmental changes, such as the bike share program,” Efrat Stein, spokeswoman for the Chicago Department of Public Health, said in an email to Medill Reports out of Northwestern University.

Chicago's new bike share program will feature 4,000 bikes at 400 city-wide stations, and will cost $19.5 million. In order to use the bikes, memberships are available for $75 annually or $7 daily that permits an unlimited number of 30-minute-or-less rides.

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