Friday, August 28, 2009

Student-Organized Bike Sharing Program Beginning at Ohio Wesleyan

Final work for the Bike Movement in high gear

The tools are out, the bikes are being assembled, and the organizational details are being completed for Ohio Wesleyan’s first bicycle sharing program. It’s a go—OWU students soon will be seen on campus on brightly painted yellow communal bikes.
Last year’s Sagan National Colloquium focused on environmental issues, and students started exploring various ways to promote programs related to sustainability. The student planners wanted to reduce the need for cars on campus, while promoting the health benefits of cycling.

The Wesleyan Council on Student Affairs Environmental Committee has taken on the challenging task of funding and organizing the Bike Movement. Lara Kobelt ’10 and Jack Stenger ’10 are co-chairing the project. “We discovered that four different student groups were exploring the idea of a bike sharing program at OWU,” says Kobelt. “So we think this student-initiated program has wide support on campus.”

Twenty-five new bikes were purchased from Breakaway Cycling in Delaware, and now are being assembled by students. Kobelt says OWU Public Safety may donate additional bikes that were unclaimed on campus at the end of summer. These will be tuned-up, if necessary. All will be painted bright yellow.

WCSA funded the majority of the $10,000 project, with donations from campus supporters.

Many details are being worked out still, Kobelt says, but the students hope to kick off the program by late September. Students will pay a nominal fee to register, and then receive a wrist bracelet with a key attached that will be compatible with the bike locks. Current plans call for bikes to be picked up and dropped off at campus dorms.


Anonymous said...

This would be great for both Universities here in Huntsville. With UAH having spcaed out campus you can even have them in certain lots for students to park and just ride the bikes across campus. With A&M all parking is on the outside of campus so this will be another healthier alternative then waiting for the bus transit system.

Bello Velo said...

Now we just need some students who want to make their campus a better place.

Anonymous said...

I really don't think there will be much demand for this at A&M. There's largely a cultural opposition to bikes.

Bello Velo said...

I ride with more people from A & M on a daily and weekly basis than I do people from UAH 9 -1. So this is not accurate.

If we had more encouragement and understanding this could open up a world of possibilities.

Anonymous said...

Yes just because most of the students are about cars does not mean there wouldn't be a demand. If the school had bike racks you would probably find more students open to ride.