Bike rental program delayed
- Jul. 23, 2012
- 1 Comment
The University bike rental program, which was projected to begin at the start of fall semester, has been delayed. However, advocates for the program are still promising a roll out of the program.
“We are still pushing forward with the project and hope to have bike rentals later in the semester,” said Thomas Plummer, a junior from Towanda and student senate chief of staff.
The bike rental program idea started last year as a KUnited platform. However, the program was put aside after new senate members were elected and larger projects took precedence.
Former student body president Libby Johnson and former vice president Gabe Bliss headed the initiative along with Plummer. Bliss said they saw a need for a bike rental system especially with international students.
Tapan Maji, an international graduate student from Kolkata, India, rides his bike that a friend gave him 10 miles every day from his apartment to the lab where he studies. Maji said riding a bike reduces air pollution; however, he wants to buy a car for when he needs to go places he can’t get to by bike.
The University Center for Sustainability is looking for ways to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide the University emits. A 2010 survey of students, faculty and staff found that more students would ride a bike if there were more bike lanes on campus and on city streets.
Vanessa Sillman, a senior from San Francisco, rides her bike to and from campus and places like the grocery store, but has found it isn’t easy.
“It’s hard because of the hills,” Sillman said.
Sillman said she has popped a couple tires on her bike because of the uneven, brick roads. Sillman said where she comes from, biking is very popular.
Mary Chappell, director of Student Recreational Services and member of the bike rental program committee, agrees that biking is becoming the new thing for exercise and sustainability and that the bike rental program is only part of a larger movement.
“It’s much bigger than a bike program,” said Chappell.
Chappell said although they are looking at possible programs for campus, she thinks it could integrate into a city-wide program. The committee is looking at Outdoor Pursuits in the student recreation fitness center as the primary campus location.
Chappell said the University was looking at other schools, such as Washington State’s Green Bike Program, to see what could work.
A possible bike share program would be paid for through student fees, virtually costless for students, and they would just have to swipe their KU card to get a bike for a day. For longer rental periods such as a week or a semester, Chappell said there could be a charge.
Chappell said there is no target date set for the program, but she thinks it could be as early as spring semester.
Edited by Allison Kohn