PITTSBURGH – The City of Pittsburgh announced today that Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and Allegheny Health Network will serve as the title sponsors of Healthy Ride, a new bike sharing system in Pittsburgh. Through the program, 500 bikes will be placed at 50 stations throughout the city, from Oakland, to downtown, to South Side, facilitating point-to-point transportation. The system will officially launch in May.
"We're so pleased to support an initiative designed to enrich our region by enhancing access to biking and promoting outdoor fitness," said orthopaedic surgeon James Sferra, MD, Director of the Division of Foot and Ankle Surgery in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Allegheny Health Network."Cycling is terrific holistic exercise that improves muscle tone, builds strength and stamina, improves cardiovascular fitness and promotes mobility of the hips, knees and ankles without straining the joints."
Pittsburgh visitors and residents will be able to register for free through Healthy Ride's website, any of the walk-up kiosks, the customer service phone number or the mobile app. The system will offer a low-cost model for completing short trips by bicycle as well as monthly memberships for those customers who prefer unlimited short trips. The bikes have adjustable seats, step through frames and easy gearing to make them comfortable for all users.
"Highmark's support of Healthy Ride is an extension of our commitment to improving the health and well-being of those living in and around Pittsburgh," said Dan Onorato, executive vice president, Highmark Health. "This program will provide people with the opportunity to incorporate more physical activity into their daily lives, while making it easier to get around the city."
Healthy Ride will be operated by Pittsburgh Bike Share, a 501(c)3 charitable organization created to operate the program. In addition to support from Highmark and Allegheny Health Network, the Department of Transportation's funding was matched by local foundation commitments to secure the purchase and installation of the Healthy Ride system. All 50 kiosks in the first phase of the Healthy Ride system will be located on city streets, sidewalks, curbsides and in plazas.
"This unique collaboration is an example of the great things that can be accomplished when government and community organizations join together with a common goal," said Mayor William Peduto. "Healthy Ride is good for residents, commuters, students and tourists and will strengthen our standing as one of our nation’s most livable cities."
"Healthy Ride will give residents and visitors to our city a practical, usable option for their everyday transportation," said David White, executive director, Pittsburgh Bike Share. "With this launch, we are joining the company of more than 500 cities worldwide with thriving bike share programs."
Successful American systems include Capital Bikeshare in Washington, D.C., Boston's Hubway, Minneapolis' Nice Ride, Chicago's Divvy, Bay Area Bike Share and New York’s Citi Bike.
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About Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield serves approximately 3.2 million members through the company’s health care benefits business and employs more than 4,000 people in western Pennsylvania. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information, visit www.highmark.com.