Big Red Bikes

A bike share program open to all Cornell students and employees...

innovation icon

Big Red Bikes is an Innovation goal in the Cornell Climate Action Plan (CAP).

Continue support for the Big Red Bike sharing program.

Goal: Assess opportunities to expand and improve the bike share program and promote bicycling as a commuting alternative.

Big Red Bikes is a bike sharing service available to the Cornell and Ithaca communities. Big Red Bikes is organized by Cornell students and Cornell Transportation Services staff members, and is operated by bike sharing service Zagster. It is open to all current Cornell students, staff, and faculty, as well as to visitors and Ithaca community members. The BRB service is available either through a subscription or pay-by-the-hour rate system. The bike share fleet includes over 30 bicycles, and 5 service locations.  Registered users can check out a bike at Olin Library, Balch Hall, Kennedy Hall, Stocking Hall, and Grumman Hall. The bikes may be returned to any of these five locations. While you are using a bike you may take it wherever you want. Some suggestions for local rides can be found at the Cornell Cycling website.

Students working in Big Red Bikes have a unique opportunity to impact Cornell’s campus as part of an innovative business practicing social entrepreneurship. Several active members of the organization have designed and completed class projects and independent study plans related to their involvement in development, management, and improvement of the bike share program. Former student officers report that their leadership and collaborative experience with the program proved invaluable as they sought employment and transitioned to the workplace.

Next Steps

  • Expanded or reciprocal Cornell-Ithaca bike share(s)
  • Comprehensive bicycle/traffic safety education and public awareness program
  • Improvements in land use prioritization and infrastructure for walking and biking
  • In the context of development of the Bicycle Master Plan, examine and assess relative costs and benefits of the program and recommend changes or improvements.


Future success hinges on student involvement and commitment, institutional commitment and funding, evaluation of program benefits, integration of program goals into the larger Bike Master Plan.