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Bike Services at Columbia

Columbia recognizes the many benefits of bicycle travel and is continuing its efforts towards growing bike culture as part of the University’s commitment to a healthy and sustainable Columbia. Creating a more bike-friendly campus reduces traffic and parking congestion, improves the health of the University community, and offers an easy, alternative travel mode to and around Columbia. 
 
The League of American Bicyclists has recognized Columbia University as a Bronze Bicycle Friendly University and a Silver Bicycle Friendly Business for its efforts toward supporting bicycling.
 
 
 
                   
 
 

Bike Share

Zagster Bike Share

Need a bike? Borrow ours!

Columbia’s Zagster bike share program means all students and staff can access a bicycle 24/7. Zagster bikes are great for recreational rides, exercise and intercampus travel. Pick up a Zagster bike at Lerner Hall, Wallach Hall or Wien Courtyard on Morningside campus.

Join Zagster

Citi Bike

Citi Bike is New York City's bike share system. Citi Bike is a good choice for getting to your destination faster or for a recreational cruise. Citi Bike offers short term memberships which are ideal for visitors, or annual memberships for frequent users. While Citi Bike is not currently offered in the Columbia area, depending where you live, you might benefit from combining Citi Bike with your subway commute. You'll get more exercise and may even achieve a more enjoyable commute.

See Citi Bike pricing options and where Citi Bike is expanding.

Locking Your Bike

Always use a U-lock or heavy chain when securing your bicycle. Cable bike locks are not recommended as they are easily cut by thieves.

Purchase a discounted bike lock from Public Safety

Visit or contact Columbia Public Safety (212-854-8513) to purchase a bike lock.

Columbia Public Safety locations:

  • Morningside Campus: Low Memorial Library, Room 111
  • Columbia University Medical Center: Black Building, Room 109

Bike Registration

It’s important that bikes are registered with Columbia’s Public Safety. Registering your bike allows Public Safety and the New York Police Department to have a better chance at recovering your bike if it’s stolen or lost. Public Safety will engrave your bicycle with a unique identification number and a decal that can be referenced by Public Safety and the New York Police Department. Registering your bike is free.

Visit or contact Columbia Public Safety (212-854-8513) to purchase a bike lock and to get your bike registered. Or set up an appointment to have your bicycle engraved.

Columbia Public Safety locations:

  • Morningside Campus: Low Memorial Library, Room 111
  • Columbia University Medical Center: Black Building, Room 109

Outdoor Bike Racks

Columbia has installed many outdoor bike racks across campus to make securing your bicycle easy and convenient. Bikes should not be secured to railings or trees; railings need to be kept clear to provide universal access for all users, and trees can be damaged when used to secure a bicycle.

See where bike parking areas are located

Bicycle Parking Enclosures

 
Bicycle enclosures provide an added level of security and weather protection for your bicycle. Bike tire pumps and basic repair tools are located in the bicycle enclosures. The bicycle enclosures are not for long-term bike storage and are reserved for bicycle commuters. Registering your bicycle with Columbia’s Public Safety is required before requesting access to bicycle enclosures.
 
Follow these steps to gain access to Columbia's bicycle enclosures:
  1. Set up an appointment to get your bike registered by calling Public Safety at 212-854-8513.
  2. Take your bike to Public Safety for engraving and registration.
  3. Request bike parking enclosure access online using your bike’s registration code.
  4. Access a bicycle parking enclosure with your CUID.
Columbia Public Safety locations:
  • Morningside campus: Low Memorial Library, Room 111
  • Columbia University Medical Center: Black Building, Room 109

See where bike parking enclosures are located

Bike Safety and Education

Bike Safety

Some important NYC bicycling laws:

  • Yield to pedestrians.
  • Stop at all red lights and signs.
  • Ride in the direction of traffic.
  • Stay off the sidewalk (unless you’re under 13).
  • Use a white headlight and red taillight at night.
  • Use a bell to signal presence.
  • Do not wear more than one earphone while riding.

Bicyclists should always wear a helmet. Wear it:

  • Snug and flat on your head.
  • With side buckles adjusted to form a “V” at your ear.
  • With chin strap buckled.
  • With enough room to fit one or two fingers under the strap.

Learn about safe bicycling practices that are specific to NYC from the New York City Department of Transportation. View these educational videos to learn techniques for improving your ride, your rights as a bicyclist, and how to ride safely on the road. Become a safer rider through Traffic Skills 101, a free and convenient online course from the League of American Bicyclists. 

Bike Education

Columbia offers free on-campus bicycle classes and workshops to help you improve your bicycling skills and become a confident, safe bicyclist. Workshop offerings include: Bicycle Maintenance 101, Bicycle Commuting 101.

Upcoming Classes at Columbia:

Family Cycling 101
Bicycling is fun, great for your health, and is frequently the fastest way to commute. Family Cycling 101 is an inspiring presentation and discussion for parents and guardians who want to learn how to ride with children. While no riding is involved, the class provides information on appropriate equipment and gear, bike safety, carriers and trailers, kid-friendly bike routes, what to pack, and more.
 
Date: Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Time:  12:00 – 1:00 p.m.  
Location:  Columbia University, Morningside Campus, Low Library, Trustees Room 212
Presenter:  Certified Bicycling Instructor, Bike New York
 
 

Join the Bicycle Interest Group listserv to receive notices when classes are scheduled

More classes are offered through Bike New York

Showers and Change Rooms

Morningside

Dodge Fitness Center at Morningside campus is equipped with showers, lockers, change rooms and towel services. Membership required. 

Columbia University Medical Center

New York Presbyterian Hospital Fitness Center offers a $5 monthly shower pass designed especially to support bicycle commuting. For more information, call: 212-305-1800 or visit the NYPH Fitness Center, 627 West 165th Street.

Showers and change rooms are also available to members of the Bard Athletic Center. Call 212-304-7010 for more information.

Bike Maintenance, Events, and Discounts

Ride Your Bike to Campus Day, Spring 2017:
Free tune-ups are available in the spring and fall semesters during Columbia’s Ride Your Bike to Campus Days, which are held at Morningside and Medical Center campuses. Get notices by joining the Bicycle Interest Group.

  • Morningside campus: Friday, April 14, 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM, Low Plaza.
  • Medical Center: Friday, April 28, 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM, front of 650 W 168th Street.

Columbia has partnered with local vendors that provide discounts for Columbia affiliates on sales, bike rentals, maintenance, parts and accessories. Discounts vary. Save 5 to 10 percent at these local bike shops with your Columbia ID.

Bike tire pumps and basic repair tools are located in Columbia's bicycle parking enclosures

Abandoned and Illegally Parked Bicycles

In order to maximize availability of bike parking and to maintain the upkeep of campus grounds, Columbia has developed the Bicycle Parking Protocol to manage bikes that are abandoned or illegally parked. Bikes that are illegally parked or stored at bike racks for extended periods of time will be subject to removal by Public Safety/Facilities personnel. Public Safety inspects and identifies bikes that, based on appearance and other factors, are most likely abandoned. The bikes will then be tagged with a notice and after a grace period of 21 days the bikes will be removed and stored at the Department of Public Safety. Persons wishing to reclaim their bicycles may do so by providing evidence of ownership and paying a storage fee. At the end of each academic year, unclaimed bicycles will be disposed of or donated.