Bikeshare Program Rolls Out

By Ellie Reinhardt

The College bike shop introduced a new bikeshare program giving students, faculty and staff the opportunity to borrow bikes for up to a day from the College. Spearheaded by Paul Quackenbush ’14 and the College bike shop, the pilot program is expected to begin sometime early next week.

The program will allow students to borrow one of eight bikes stationed at the Davis Family Library that have been refurbished by the bike shop.

Quackenbush was inspired to pursue the bikeshare program by the efforts of Ellory Kramer ’13.5 last spring and a similar program from a few years ago called the yellow bikeshare program where yellow bikes were spread around campus for student use. Although the yellow bike program ended because of a lack of accountability, the concept remained of interest.

Kramer received negative feedback last spring, however Quackenbush was able to see the program through with the support of Public Safety Administrator and Museum Manager and Events Coordinator, Wayne Darling, and Circulation Services Manager Dan Frostman.

Support from both the Department of Public Safety and the Library Circulation Services was crucial because of their role in the program.

Darling and the Office of Public Safety help the bike shop with funding by providing them with unclaimed abandoned bikes that can be refurbished and resold.

“We have a role in providing the essential resource that makes the bike shop work both financially and as a facility to create bikes that can be rented or in this case borrowed,” Darling said. “This has become their primary form of funding.”

To maintain accountability, students will have to check the bikes out from the library. Quackenbush worked primarily with Frostman to engage the use of the library check out system.

“Bikes could get stolen and there needs to be some sort of accountability which is why I though to attach it to the library system. I figured we have a good system already for checking things out,” Quackenbush said.

The program is being introduced as a pilot in order to gauge interest and identify any faults.

“The pilot program is to see if there’s anything we’re forgetting,” Quackenbush said. “In order to go to a bigger scale, you are going to need more resources. So if we can demonstrate this is a viable program and there’s interest for it suggests that the school should allocate some resources to it.”

Darling added that this program could lead to an expanded version in the future.

“There was a version of this discussion about three years ago that reached a topping point where we were thinking about multiple places around campus where you could take a bike and drop them off at bike check stations,” he said.

In order to become a part of the program students are required to sign up online at go/bikeshare where the terms and conditions are stated. Once registered, students must go to the bike shop during their office hours to get a sticker on their ID that will indicate to the library that they can borrow a bike.

“I hope it achieves the mission of getting bikes in as many people’s hands as possible. Our whole mission is that bikes are great because they provide freedom,” Quackenbush said. “Many people don’t have cars on campus and I think it’s a shame that they can’t get out more into the surrounding areas and bikes are a great and fun way to do that.”