Is It Safe to Use Bike-Share?
Treat shared bicycles and scooters like you would a grocery cart
The spread of Covid-19 has made it risky to take public transit and ride cars with strangers, so many are opting to ride a different kind of public vehicle: shared bicycles, via bike-share programs like Citi Bike, Divvy, Discover Bike, and Bluebikes. Programs like these, which sometimes also include scooters, let riders avoid breathing around strangers while also getting a bit of exercise en route to their destination. But unanswered questions about the safety of shared seats and handlebars might leave some people leery.
There don’t seem to be any Covid-19 studies specifically on bicycles or scooters, but Steffanie Strathdee, PhD, associate dean of global health sciences at the University of California, San Diego, and author of The Perfect Predator, suggests treating handles and seats like any other potentially contaminated surface and cleaning them before use.
“[Since] we know that SARS-CoV-2 can live for over a day on some surfaces,” she wrote in an email, “I would recommend that people wipe down the handlebars and anywhere else they might place their hands, along with the seat, with bleach wipes before using them (just like they would with a grocery cart). I’d also not recommend wearing short shorts!”