New bike program provides options for transportation
THE SANTA CLARA
October 30, 2014
Santa Clara aims to decrease the university’s carbon footprint two wheels at a time.
Ten bikes were brought to campus as part of a new bike sharing program, which can be taken both on and off campus.
“We have goals to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, and one of our greatest contributors to that (is) single occupancy emissions,” said Lindsey Kalkbrenner, director of Santa Clara’s Center for Sustainability.
Kalkbrenner said she hopes the plan will make students, faculty and staff more comfortable with biking to places that are short distances away rather than driving.
Beginning on Oct. 28, students can pay an annual $35 membership fee to use the bikes. If the bikes are ridden for more than two hours, using the bikes will cost $2 for each additional hour. The program will be launched through Zagster, a company that provides rental bikes to universities, businesses and hotels. Students can rent bikes and pay membership fees using Zagster’s mobile application.
The bikes can be rented from racks located across from Harrington Learning Commons, next to Sanfilippo Hall and in the courtyard between O’Connor Hall and Mayer Theatre, said Millicent Kenney, transportation services manager. Kenney would not disclose how much the program costs Santa Clara.
“If it grows, it will cut down on the amount of bikes students need to bring to campus and it will cut down on the number of bikes students don’t take home at the end of the year,” Kenney said.
According to Kalkbrenner, Santa Clara seniors brought a bike sharing program to Santa Clara in 2008 as part of their senior Capstone project.
Although it was successful at the time, the program broke down when the seniors graduated.
Junior Colleen Henn worked with Facilities, the Center for Sustainability and Zagster to bring the bikes to campus.
As part of her Sustainable Living Undergraduate Research Project, Henn researched programs that could be brought to campus and distributed surveys to tailor the program to the needs of students.
“Establishing a bicycling culture around campus will develop the university from the inside out,” Henn said. “It will not only establish a culture of sustainability on campus grounds, but the culture will overflow into the surrounding area.”
Lecturer Stephanie Hughes, who oversaw Henn’s project, said the program will not be financially self-sustaining this year, but she hopes that the program will eventually pay for itself if enough students sign up in the future.
Kenney said she hopes the program will expand to have more than 10 bikes.
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