Transportation Transformed: GM Adds Bike Sharing at its Tech Center

19,000 Tech Center employees can now borrow bikes placed at various spots across the campus to travel from building to building.
Aug 27, 2014 2:45 PM ET


Yesterday, employees from General Motors’ Warren Technical Center stood in long lines to register for a ride-and-drive program. But unlike a usual GM event that puts drivers behind the wheel of a new car, these registrants were signing up to sit on a different kind of leather seat – the seat of a new Zagster bike.

We just launched a bike share program for our 19,000 employees that work on the 330-acre, 61 building campus that makes up the Warren Tech Center. We partnered with private bike share company Zagster to roll it out with a few pilot members in late July and it’s now available to all employees.

Simply by registering online, users can reserve bikes as needed through text message or asmart phone app that provides an access code to unlock the lock box mounted on the bike.

Employees regularly have meetings at various buildings throughout the square-mile campus, and the new fleet of bikes will help them cut down on travel time. But that’s not all the new bikes can offer.

“It’s a great transportation alternative that promotes healthy living,” said John Bucher, supervisor in our design operations. “It’s also great for our environment because it’s an emissions-free way to commute.”

Recognizing a trend among urban residents toward shareable, efficient forms of transportation, we chose to offer bikes in the hope that our employees may find similar benefits from bike use right here on our campus.

And although it may be counterintuitive to think about an automotive company offering bike sharing, “it’s really not,” says David Tulauskas, GM’s director of sustainability. “We’re looking at being a part of the disruption happening in the automotive industry.”

Bike share programs have been implemented in a number of major cities across America, some by private companies and others by city or state governments. Recognizing that Michigan’s local governments aren’t as well equipped to provide bike sharing, private enterprises in Detroit, like us, have stepped up to provide the service.

“By funding and implementing these resources in a way that the local government can’t, these companies are making Detroit a better place to live, work and play,” said Timothy Ericson, CEO of Zagster.