A new bike-share program in New York looks like a promising way to fix some of the city's biggest problems, like traffic congestion, air pollution, and obesity.
Or rather, let us rephrase: It will help to relieve issues of obesity, but only for the portion of the population weighing less than 260 pounds.
“Everyone who signs up for the program has to agree to a contract, which states users ‘must not exceed maximum weight limit (260 pounds)’ because the bikes can’t hold that much heft,” explains the New York Post.
But citizens aren’t buying it. Jhoskaira Ferman, a 20-year-old student from Pelham Bay, Bronx, says that “If you’re 260 pounds or 300 pounds and want to ride a bike, you should be allowed to. You’re making a choice to live healthier and to lose weight.”
19-year-old Juleissy Lantigua agrees: “That’s bogus,” she says. “260 pounds isn’t going to break the bike. To me, that’s discrimination. And I’m not easily offended!”
Although the anti-fat rule has some people outraged, the New York Post’s coverage clarifies that “bike-share programs run by the same contractor — the Portland, Ore.-based Alta Bicycle Share — launched in Boston with the same weight restriction. London’s program also has the restriction.” It’s a battle of morality against practicality.
MailOnline.com says that New York Department of Transportation Policy Director Jon Orcutt has explained that despite the weight recommendation from the bike manufacturer, the city will not strictly enforce the limit, claiming that he thinks riders “will be self-selecting, practical and safe.”
The program apparently will cost users $95 per year, or $25 per week to hop onboard, albeit for those who pass the weight limitations.