Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Mississippi Leads the way can Alabama follow?

Has anyone tried to talk with A & M and UAH about introducing a program like this? Lets avoid the typical excuses and ask or introduce this? I assume MSU is a bigger school this only means you would need less bikes.

The Mississippi State University bike program will undergo a metamorphosis as more bicycles will be purchased with new features in the fall semester.

Some of the upgrades will include steel pedals, stronger tires and the placement of baskets on the front of them.

Director of parking services Mike Harris said students are really interested in the program.

"During Spring Break, we accounted for 90 bikes," he said. "This is a great number to be able to account for. It shows that the students are buying into the program and regulating it themselves."

Harris said the bikes were part of a pilot program to begin with just to see how it would work.

"In our opinion, it has been very successful to the point of us looking to purchase another 100 bikes," he said.

Associate dean of students Thomas Bourgeois said he is positive about the MSU bikes.

"We are very excited about the bikes and will continue to add to the fleet," he said. "It has been a phenomenal success."

Bourgeois said the biggest problem with the bikes was where to distribute them. Also, students complained about the seats being uncomfortable and either too high or too short for them.

Student Association President Blake Jeter said the MSU bikes not only thrived, but bike travel in general on campus has increased.

"This year there have been three times more students than last year registering their bikes on campus," Jeter said. "There are now 1,200 bikes registered compared to the 400 last year."

Considering the students' primary problem with the bike system is the low number of bikes available, he said Mississippi State officials plan to order 100 bikes a year for the next five years.

Sophomore philosophy major Marshall Jones said he enjoyed the bikes at first but then struggled to find one on campus.

"As a student who often has to rush to class, the student bikes often helped me in getting to class just in time," he said.

Jones said shortly after the bike system was created, he started seeing fewer and fewer bikes around campus.

"Now it has gotten to the point where I'm lucky to see one once a week," he said.

Jones said he thinks it was a good idea, but more thought should have been involved in the process.

"I definitely think that the school should either invest in some kind of tracking device for the bikes or cut their losses and sell what bikes they have left for money they could use elsewhere," he said.


clintpatty said...

They're already invested in an inferior and significantly more expensive bus system.

Bello Velo said...

has anyone asked?

clintpatty said...

A&M hasn't even responded to requests for bike racks. But no. And I don't know about UAH. I haven't asked.

Bello Velo said...

Who do you have to ask for Bike Racks?
Do you think having a petition would sway them?
Are there any bike racks at all?

clintpatty said...

I don't know if a petition would or not, and there are about 5 students I've seen who use bikes. There are bike racks west of Meridian that appear to be for members of the community to watch sporting events, not for students to use for class.