Bike sharing programs are steadily becoming a necessity of life for daily commuters. The ease of access combined with the affordability of rental prices can be compelling motivators. Last year, bike sharing finally came to Reykjavik, and we couldn’t have been happier. Iceland’s former favorite airline, WOW air, took the initiative by manufacturing a fleet of Iceland’s very own, orchid-colored, aluminum-reinforced, stylish bicycles. They are called WOWcitybikes to be specific. Reykjavik has never been more fun or convenient to cycle through. These signature purple WOWcitybikes make life more comfortable, but most importantly they are helping to protect Iceland environmentally.
Iceland: The Land Of Cars
Iceland has one of the highest vehicle ownership rates in the entire world. The reason for these excessive numbers is actually quite simple. For the longest time, Iceland suffered from lackluster public transportation. Icelanders had to get to work, school, or out into the countryside. Up until last year, the people of Reykjavik always had an excuse to drive. Not anymore. WOW air’s bike sharing program, in coordination with the local government, is seeking to curb this trend of vehicle owners.
Having so many cars not only presents a challenge with our narrow streets becoming congested, but also the added vehicles emit vast quantities of harmful carbon emissions. The tourism explosion has certainly helped make this problem worse. However, by utilizing WOWcitybikes’ new ride-sharing system, we can help curb the pollutants from the ever increasing collection of cars on our Nordic island.
Bike Sharing Cuts Down on Pollution
For me, bicycle riding is the preferred method of transport whenever possible. I, of course, am speaking only about within the city. You definitely aren’t going to find me trekking through the Western Fjords on a Huffy two-wheeler. Bike sharing is not just a perfect way to promote sustainability and reduce air pollution, but it is great for reducing noise pollution as well. Even though it has only happened a handful of times, being ripped out of REM sleep by a honking horn is an unsettling feeling. Just disconcerting.
Reykjavik’s streets aren’t like most other capital cities. We have relatively narrow streets. We don’t need big sprawling four-lane roads. Given the high percentage of drivers on the road in our capital, things can get noisy. Icelanders are far too polite to be constantly laying on the horn. However, the quiet hum of an army of cars packed into a narrow street can start to get pretty loud. Instead of taking your vehicle, maybe think about hopping on a violet-hued WOWcitybike. You will get a bit of cardiovascular activity as you travel and a little exercise never hurt anyone.
Iceland in the future
Iceland has always been a leader in the environmental community. With the previously mentioned astronomical number of people who own cars in Iceland, we all need to be taking ride sharing bikes more. They use essentially no fossil fuels, they are nearly silent, and they significantly reduce harmful emissions that are collected in the atmosphere. Also, cycling provides a way to reduce traffic congestion. Most interestingly though, did you know that cycling on your commute can also reduce the journey time of not only yourself but other Icelanders on the road?
Not only can Icelanders in Reykjavik help the environment, but they can also look good doing it. WOW’s signature purple color scheme is a big reason for the extra swag you feel when riding one of these bikes. You feel like you own the streets riding on one of their bikes. The bicycles are crafted from sturdy aluminum, and the fat 28’’ wheels provide a smooth and comfortable ride. All the safety features are top notch as well; the breaks are well-maintained, and the bike even comes equipped with powerful and highly visible lights. You have seen them in the city. No need for me to gush about them. I take them all the time, and I love it.
Price of WOWcitybikes
WOWcitybike is not only convenient and eco-friendly, but the different plans you can sign up for will save you a few extra bucks. There are four options for renting a bike:
350 ISK (3 USD) for a 30-minute ride
3900 ISK (36 USD) for a 30-day pass
9900 ISK (91 USD) for a 90-day pass
16900 ISK (156 USD) for a one year pass.
I currently have a 30-day pass, because as we are in the summer, I don’t want to push my luck. However, maybe if the weather is favorable, I could see myself riding one of these bikes in the fall. Thanks for watching out for my wallet and the environment WOW air. You guys rule.
WOWcitybike: The Eco-Friendly and Fun Bike Sharing Service in Reykjavik
We need more companies like WOW air to step up in their communities to make this mode of transportation a reality. Bike sharing programs are viable modes of public transportation, and every metropolitan city has some version of it. Cycling 10km (6 mi) to and from work has been theorized to save around 1500kg of harmful ozone damaging emissions every year. Why aren’t we all doing this? Sign up for WOWcitybike to help you save some money, and to help add a few extra years to our ozone layer.
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