Supporting Sustainability at Wellesley

September 5, 2012

Wellesley College is saying goodbye to pink and hello to green—at least when it comes to bikes. The College will launch a new bike share program on Wednesday, September 12, but the community is encouraged to sign up now.

"The idea for this program stemmed from the Outing Club's Revolution pink bike program," said Danielle Gaglini, Wellesley's sustainability coordinator. Under the old program, the Outing Club would take bikes that people no longer wanted and mark them with bright pink tape to identify them as bikes available for community use. The program, which Gaglini called "a great start for the concept of sustainable transportation on campus," was somewhat successful, but needed a facelift.

The students submitted a proposal to the Sustainable Advisory Committee and were awarded a grant from The Class of 1957 Green Fund to launch a new bike share. Together with the sustainability office, the students chose On Bike Share, a vendor that allows users to check out bikes in "four simple steps," namely, "Swipe Card. Get Key. Unlock Bike. Ride On."

The bikes will be housed in the parking garage near the Wellesley College Police Station, which is where they can be picked up and returned. There is no cost to borrow a bicycle from the bike share, but participants must fill out a release form and activate their OneCard at the police station. Once entered in the database, members of the community can take the bikes out for 24 hours at a time for use on and off campus. 

The bike share bicycles offer the added advantage of requiring "a lot less maintenance," according to Patrick Willoughby, Wellesley's sustainability director. The bicycles used in the bike share differ from traditional cycles because they have an internal gear system and brakes. The program, which, according to Willoughby, is closely modeled after the Boston bike sharing program, will start with 15 bikes and expand in the future if the demand exists.

Members of the community who are in the habit of riding their own bicycles will also find support from the program, the garage space housing the bike share bikes has also been fitted with a self-serve bike repair station for personal bikes that includes a tire pump and tools.

Questions about the program or sign-up should be directed to

Earlier this year, the EPA named the town of Wellesley a "Green Power Partner." Wellesley is one of the first communities in the nation where all of its institutions of higher education hold this distinction. The College was officially awarded Green Power Partner status at a ceremony on September 4.