Andréa White-Kjoss, 35, modeled her full-service cycling centers on a similar idea already popular in Japan and Europe. More than a dozen bike stations have opened in such places as Palo Alto and Berkeley, California; Seattle; and, most recently, Washington, D.C.
"Our existing transportation system has been built around the automobile — parking, service, fuel — and we need the same sort of system around other forms of transportation. The biggest reasons people give for not biking to work are fear of theft and the inconvenience of showing up sweaty and in bike clothes. With a service hub like Bikestation, people can not only securely store their bikes but also use the shower rooms and changing facilities, buy equipment, take classes, use the on-site maintenance-and-service station, and ask for advice.
There has been a great deal of interest from not only cities and universities but also transit systems, which are adding these into existing stations. You can park 36 bikes in the same space you need to park one car. They realize that something different needs to be done to build ridership. A bicycle isn't ideal for every situation, but a seamless, robust ecosystem lets it be an easier option."
A version of this article appeared in the September 2009 issue of Fast Company magazine.