Blog: Jenna Przybycien & Stephanie Lucido

Jenna Przybycien

Jenna Przybycien works in advertising at McCann Worldgroup and is a co-founder of Detroit Bike Sharing, along with Stephanie Lucido and Victor Quattrin. She is a casual cyclist who enjoys peddling to the grocery store and the ice cream parlor. She has a love for design, word games, and the city of Detroit.

Jenna is a 2009 graduate of the College for Creative Studies in Detroit's Cultural Center.

Stephanie Lucido

Stephanie Lucido works at eventful.com and is a co-founder of Detroit Bike Sharing. She is determined to have a helping hand in the revival of Detroit. She grew up taking family trips downtown to the Fox, the Joe, and Tiger Stadium.  She hopes future children and students will be able to do the same, because Detroit has shaped who she has become and is ingrained in who she is.

Stephanie is a graduate of the College for Creative Studies.

Jenna Przybycien & Stephanie Lucido - Most Recent Posts:

Jenna Przybycien: What Detroit Could Have in Common with Barcelona, Spain

Vic, Stephanie and I met at the College for Creative Studies, where we bonded quickly over lack of sleep, bad jokes and big ideas. For four years we got to know Detroit as well as each other, and learned its temperaments, its secrets and most importantly, its potential. Now, we want to be a part of its revival – with Detroit Bike Sharing.

The idea for bringing bike sharing to Detroit started when Stephanie and I went to Barcelona in the summer of 2010. We saw all these red bikes and docking stations everywhere we went, and we were curious to find out what they were. Neither of us had heard of bike sharing before so when we learned what the program was, we were amazed. And we thought: why doesn't Detroit have this?

This past year, Vic, Stephanie and I have been researching and planning how to bring bike sharing to Detroit, and how to fund it. It's a challenge and it's a learning process. But, one step at a time, we plan to make it happen. We've even already started laying out the framework. We've developed a plan, begun to apply for grants, started making connections and have filed to become a non-profit corporation.

One major thing we've learned is that we're going to need a lot of help to bring this project to life: From manufacturers, designers and city council, to lawyers, accountants and the community, we have a lot of phone calls to make to bring this system to Detroit.

In the near future we plan to launch a Kickstarter project to start funding the next steps to start putting some serious wheels in motion. While it is an intimidating process, it's also very exciting. There is an infectious energy moving throughout Detroit right now, and we're using it as a constant motivator. The feedback from the community has been amazing and a lot of wonderful people have stepped up to offer their help. We couldn't be more thankful for the recognition and the positivity around the idea of bringing Detroit Bike Share to life. Let's keep it rolling.


Stephanie Lucido: Laying the Roadwork for Bike Sharing in Detroit

Biking has never been more popular in Detroit than it is now. With events like Critical Mass and tour de troit, Detroiters are embracing this calorie-burning and eco-friendly way to get around. Even the city of Detroit is getting on board. The city is currently working to put in 16 new miles of bike lanes, known as Greenlinks, to connect Detroit to its surrounding neighborhoods. With this movement at full speed, Detroit Bike Sharing is jumping right in to offer the cyclists who may not have the extra $600-$700 to buy a bike a more affordable option.

Bike sharing is a public transportation alternative that provides a flexible method for completing short trips – great for a spread-out city like Detroit. The system has a network of docking stations where users can check out bikes at their leisure, with a swipe of a credit/debit or membership card. Bikes can be picked up and returned at any of the different locations. Members and nonmembers can use and return bikes by purchasing day passes or annual memberships. Our plan is to sprinkle these stations throughout Detroit and eventually expand into Ferndale and Royal Oak. Detroit's residents are already avid cyclists –  and many biking organizations and businesses have already found their success in Detroit.

Back Alley Bikes is one of these great organizations that empower the community and its youth. Anyone can come in and earn a bike or learn to repair the one they already have. They also have opened up a retail store called The Hub of Detroit, to be a continual source of empowerment to sustain their mission. We think Detroit Bike Sharing is the next natural step for the Detroit biking community for numerous reasons.

Affordability
It's an extremely affordable option for people who need to use public transportation. At only $60 a year you can ride as much as you want, whenever you want. We know an affordable dependable transit system is one thing Detroit desperately needs.

Eco-friendliness
There has been a large green movement within Detroit, from the pop-up urban gardens to the automotive industry's push for more environmentally friendly vehicles. More and more we are realizing that going green isn't just a trend.

Location
Detroit's size is ideal for a bike sharing system. Many of the populated, visited and essential locations in Detroit are too spread out for walking, and parking can be inconvenient.

Economy
We want our bikes to be made and repaired in Detroit to keep our business local. We also view Detroit Bike Sharing as a great opportunity for local businesses. It would be great for them to sponsor stations on their property to be a preferred destination for users and accessible for bike-riding employees. Having an inexpensive, easy, healthy and dependable way for people to get around the city would be great for the people working, living and going to school here. We want to see Detroit grow into the potential we know it has and bring the joy and convenience of biking to its streets.


Jenna Przybycien: Why Bikes Need to be in the Driver's Seat

Detroit is synonymous with the automotive industry; after all, it's the Motor City. And when you are a city based around cars, public transportation takes a back seat:

"Poor bus service is hardly news in the Motor City. For decades, Detroit and its suburbs have operated the nation's most underfunded transit system. Southeast Michigan spends less per capita on transit than any other metropolitan region -- about 25 cents for every dollar spent nationally." Detroit Free Press, 10/9/11

"The Detroit City Council was outraged to hear (Tuesday) that out of the 200 broken city buses, only 30 have been repaired after several weeks of horror stories from residents including 3 1/2-hour waits for buses and lost jobs." Detroit Free Press, 10/12/11

"'Literally, as we speak, people are losing their jobs,' Councilwoman Saunteel Jenkins said referring to riders' complaints that late buses have gotten them fired." Detroit Free Press, 10/12/11

"Bus tardiness has grown steadily since January, from 28% of the DDOT buses running late to 38% in August." Detroit Free Press, 9/27/11

Twenty percent of the people living in Detroit do not own a vehicle, which means they rely solely on the bus systems to get them from point A to B. Public transportation should not be a reason that people can't get to work or school on time or unable to get to the grocery store or pharmacy.

I have been to other cities like Minneapolis and New York, where public transportation is a common way for people to get around and offers people a convenience. They have subway systems, light rails, bike sharing and buses. In Detroit, buses are really the only option, and as of lately, extremely inconvenient. Our city deserves better. The people living here deserve better.

And real solutions are in the works. Many people have probably heard about the Woodward Light Rail; a rail system that plans to extend from Detroit's Midtown to 8 mile. It is scheduled to be completed in 2016 to provide fast, reliable transportation and improve access and mobility in the area. TRU (Transportation Riders United) is a nonprofit that is working to advance, build and strengthen transportation throughout the Greater Detroit area. And Detroit Bike Sharing is working hard to bring a healthy and eco-friendly public transportation alternative to the city of Detroit and its suburbs. With all of these great things happening in Detroit, there is hope for the Motor City's transportation problems.

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