Alumnus Puts Degree to Work as Transportation Entrepreneur

Posted: November 30, 2009 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: January 25, 2010 at 3:22 pm

By Jocelyn Rappaport

Paul DeMaio

Paul DeMaio

Entrepreneurship and transportation studies are among the strengths of the School of Public Policy, as demonstrated by alumnus Paul DeMaio, who completed his master’s in transportation policy, operations and logistics in 2005.

Recognizing a need for expert assistance among organizations creating and maintaining bike-sharing programs, DeMaio founded MetroBike LLC in 2005.

According to the MetroBike web site, bike sharing (also called bike transit)  is “a fleet of bicycles available at a network of unattended stations for short-term use.” With energy costs, pollution and road congestion on the rise, bike sharing appears to be an idea whose time has come.

Photo by Evan Cantwell

Photo by Evan Cantwell

Based in Washington, D.C., MetroBike serves clients from local and federal governments, nonprofits and commercial enterprises. The company helps clients develop operational and maintenance plans, as well as station location plans to make bikes easily accessible to riders.

DeMaio first became interested in bike sharing while he was studying city planning at the University of Virginia. As an undergraduate, he spent a semester in Copenhagen researching Denmark’s bike-sharing program. Since then, DeMaio has stayed involved with this interest either through academia at Mason or now professionally.

“My time at Mason allowed me to focus on bike sharing in new ways and was pivotal in my present endeavors,” says DeMaio.

DeMaio also writes the Bike-sharing Blog and has been quoted by USA Today, the New York Times, MSNBC, Agence France-Presse, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Washington Post, Discovery Channel News and, most recently, Time magazine.

This article originally appeared in Policy Impact 2009, the School of Public Policy’s magazine.

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