Earn-A-Bike program wins national honor


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A group that promotes sustainable practices at U.S. colleges and universities has honored a University of Louisville program that awards bicycle vouchers to students and employees who forgo their campus parking permits.

    UofL’s Earn-A-Bike program won the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education 2014 award in the category Best Case Study from a Four-Year or Graduate Institution with More Than 10,000 Full-Time Students.

    The award was presented Oct. 26 at the association’s national conference in Portland, Ore.

    Anyone with a valid UofL ID who agrees not to buy a campus parking permit for at least two years is eligible to receive an Earn-A-Bike voucher worth $400 at a local bike shop. Applications are accepted over the summer and vouchers awarded at the start of fall semester.

    Earn-A-Bike has been an especially big hit with students, who account for about three-fourths of the 1,170 people who have received vouchers since the program began, said Justin Mog, assistant to the provost for sustainability initiatives. This fall, vouchers went to 370 people on UofL’s Belknap and Health Sciences campuses.

    “We’re seeing a lot more people riding bikes to and from campus instead of driving motorized vehicles,” he said. “Not only is that helping reduce the university’s carbon footprint – it’s promoting a healthier lifestyle and saving folks money.”

    UofL’s Sustainability Council has launched a variety of initiatives in recent years to promote the use of bicycles on campus, such as creating bike lanes on campus paths and nearby roads, offering bike safety workshops and installing bike racks and fix-it stations.

    Last year, UofL became the first school in Kentucky to receive a silver bicycle-friendly university designation from the League of American Bicyclists.

    For more information, contact Mog at 502-852-8575 or justin.mog@louisville.edu