For the next few days, Americans will direct their attention to the Democratic National Convention taking in Charlotte, North Carolina. As President Obama and other Democratic candidates gather together to announce their platform for change in America, a quiet but important transportation revolution will be happening right outside.
Freewheelin’, a human-powered transportation system created by the Humana insurance company, will be front and center at the DNC, providing an alternative way for attendees to get around Charlotte. What originally started as an employee bike-sharing program in Kentucky has now expanded to include twenty, eight passenger pedal buses. With convenient “bus-cycle” stops located near the convention center, it’s easy to grab lunch or head back to the hotel without carbon emissions.
In the interest of bipartisan health, Freewheelin’ was also present at the Republican National Convention in Tampa this past week. Despite the Conservative aversion to alternative fuels, the Republicans seemed to enjoy this simple and environmentally-friendly transportation solution. Once seated in the vehicle, each rider has access to a set of bicycle pedals that help move the bus forward. According to Freewheelin’, RNC delegates took over 1250 pedal-powered rides that burned over 18,000 calories and saved almost 600 tons of carbon emissions.
If you’re going to be in Charlotte for the festivities this week, all you need to do is sign in with a Freewheelin ambassador, get a card with your own QR code and be on your way. Your card will be scanned every time you use the bus, or pick up free local fruit and bottled water from one of the three conveniently-located bus stops. Find maps and more info here.