Students like bicycles. If they didn’t, thousands of colleges and universities across America would not have bike rental programs. Benefits of a bike rental program include:
- It increases a student’s spacial mobility, allowing them access to more resources (i.e. stores, markets, health care centers)
- It decreases CO₂ emissions from students driving their cars to class
- International students and students from across the country don’t have to transport their personal bikes
- Students who can’t afford a bike still have access to one
In other small universities, the most common model consists of varying charges for renting a bicycle for a designated amount of time— one day, one week, one weekend, one semester, one academic year. I suggest $5-day, $10-weekend, $15-week, $75-semester, $150-academic year. Bikes not returned would yield a charge of $567 to replace the bike and equipment (e.g. lights, reflectors, locks, etc). This would fund repairs for the bikes over the years. Because Delaware is a smaller city, Bishop Bikes could also team up with the local bike shop Breakaway Cycling, perhaps renting their used bicycles or getting discounted repairs.
I am currently creating a survey that I will circulate through the student body throughout the month of October. Allowing each student to only take the survey once, I should collect enough individuals’ opinions on the bike program. The survey will ask questions like:
- Would you (the student) possibly rent a bike if there was a simple rental program?
- Where on campus would be a good place to rent/pick up the bicycles?
- Would an online bike reservation form be useful?
- Are the prices reasonable? — or — Would you rent a bike from the local shop Breakaway Cycling?
I will finish the survey within the week, circulate it through social media and the OWU daily, then compile the results by the end of the first week in November.
By the end of October, I need to contact the owner of Breakaway Cycling [(740) 363-3232] to discuss some kind of partnership. If there is no interest, I will look to WCSA or outside grants to procure bikes.
Once the plans are more solid, I will talk to the necessary OWU administrators about enacting the project. This should be in early November.