For the first time this summer, faculty, staff and students will be able to borrow free bikes at three traditional Belknap Campus residence halls, Unitas Tower, Miller and Threlkeld, said Justin Mog, assistant to the provost for sustainability initiatives.
The program already is in place at five other campus locations: Kurz Hall, Community Park, Bettie Johnson Hall, the Student Recreation Center and the Get Healthy Now Wellness Center at Humana Gym.
When bike share expands, 22 two-wheelers will be available to people on campus, Mog said.
UofL’s Sustainability Council, Housing and Residential Life, Get Healthy Now and Intramural and Recreational Sports teamed up several years ago to start the program. Anyone with a valid UofL ID can borrow a bike for the day at no charge. All bikes are equipped with baskets, and riders receive a helmet and bicycle lock.
“When people choose bikes instead of cars, they start to realize that getting around can be fun, free, fit and carbon-neutral instead of aggravating, expensive, unhealthy and polluting,” said Mog.
Others also had good things to say about the program.
“It’s partly about visibility and partly about behavior change,” said Brian Shelangoski, associate housing director. “If people see the bikes, they’re much more likely to use them instead of driving.”
Faculty and staff frequently check out the two bikes offered at Humana Gym, said Stephanie Weldy, wellness manager for Get Healthy Now.
“Participants use them to commute, exercise or a combination of both,” she said. “Feedback has been very positive since we began doing this.”
Bike share received a special boost this winter when UofL’s Department of Public Safety donated 19 unclaimed bikes to the program.
“In the past, we just sent these bikes to surplus, but this time we decided to recycle them for use by people on campus,” said operations commander David James.
The donated bikes are being reconditioned before they are put into service, Mog said.
For more information on bike share, see UofL’s sustainability website.