Bike-share firm wants to harness power of offsets

    A representative of a Philadelphia company said he hopes to help spread bike-sharing programs to every city in the world with more than 50,000 thousand residents.

    CityRyde, a 4-year-old company founded by Drexel University graduates, now sells software and consulting services to universities and other groups that want to set up small bike-sharing programs. It hopes to tap into the market for carbon offsets to help larger bike-share programs that have been hindered by high costs.

    “There’s thousands of carbon projects, right, that are generating carbon offset credits,” co-founder Jason Meinzer said. “However, there’s virtually none in the transportation sector. Why is there this void, why hasn’t anybody turned this into an opportunity?”

    The company has developed software that tracks how much carbon is saved each time a customer rides a bike-share bike.

    If their carbon counting methodology gains accreditation later this month, cities that want to start their own bike-share fleets will be able to use the software to sell offsets to fund them.

    Meinzer said because bike-sharing programs automatically collect information on exactly how far each bike is ridden, they make calculating how much carbon is being saved easy and accurate. He said hopes that will make their offsets an especially attractive offset option.

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