Bishop Bike Program Upgrade Proposal
The Bishop Bikes program was run by the students of Tree House, and while there was potential for a great, easy-to-maintain program, the project fell through after about five years. However, students still send requests to Tree House members to borrow bikes for some period of time, even though there has been no advertising and minimal use for two years. Part of the problem is that the few current bikes are in serious disrepair, but there are other issues as well. This plan, if fully implemented, will provide new bikes, regular bike maintenance, and easy start-up.
Students like bikes. They can be borrowed for a quick trip to class, work, and nearby establishments such as Buehler’s or the Community Market. Students who live out-of-state or internationally can’t bring their bikes to campus, and some students can’t afford their own bike at all. Others choose to drive their cars when they need to get to class quickly, leading to a large output of emissions every year. Having a bike share program on campus will help solve these issues and more, and won’t cost the university much each year.
Most other small universities offer free bike rentals the students, and this plan proposes the same. Students will register at the beginning of every academic year to be a part of the program; then they can use their IDs or automized bike locks to check out bike at anytime. If the bike is not returned after one month, or if the student has lost or damaged the bike beyond repair, the student will be charged for the bicycle and all of it’s accessories.
Before beginning the program, a survey will be filtered through the student body to ask them where is the best place to keep the bikes— by Beeghly library or Welch residence hall (they will have the option of recommending other locations).
Here are four companies that provide bike fleets:
- Zagster— they own the bikes and lease them to us; will decide prices if we work out a more solid plan. Includes maintenance service.
- OBS— $25,000 for the 20 bike bundle, but maybe use surplus funds or find a grant. We own bikes and automatic locking racks, so program can be completely free and more students will use it.
- Republic Bikes— 3-speed bikes are $499 each and designed with our logo; again, funding for purchasing the bikes will have to be worked out.
- Social Bicycles— Find and reserve a bicycle from a web browser, mobile device, or directly from the keypad interface on the bike.
For the bike providers that don’t also provide maintenance, I would like to pair with local shop Breakaway Cycling. The plan should be set before spring break 2016 so the program can begin implementation the second half of the semester.
- Zagster – http://zagster.com/college-campus-bike-sharing/
- OBS – http://shop.onbikeshare.com/Advanced-Bike-Share-System-20-Bikes-20BK-SYS.htm
- Republic – http://www.republicbike.com/bike_sharing.asp
- Social Bikes – http://socialbicycles.com/#introduction
- Vassar College – http://www.vassar.edu/headlines/2007/we-got-wheels.html
- WIlliams College – http://sites.williams.edu/bikes/
- Amherst College – http://amherststudent.amherst.edu/?q=article/2014/03/26/amherst-bike-share-project
- Swarthmore College – http://www.swarthmore.edu/news-events/swarthmores-bike-share-program-returns