More Schools Join the Pay-You-to-Bike Bandwagon
Image via: LA CitystreetsClark U, Rice University, U Minnesota are all launching bike-sharing programs, along with the City of Minneapolis. Towson University has launched several green transportation programs - sadly no bike sharing, yet. Many of the schools include financial incentives to get out there and try biking for a change.Clark U students earned their bikes (6 in total) for the bike sharing program. Students in the cycling club on campus, Cycles of Change, volunteered at a local "Earn-A-Bike" center where they learned to build and maintain bikes. The new bikes will be available for the day, along with helmets and locks, for students with a campus ID.
Rice University is actually giving Giant Boulder bikes (that's right, not loaning but actually owning) to students that agree not to register a car on campus for a minimum of 12 months. The off-campus graduate housing apartment complex has a shortage of parking spaces so the school created an incentive (carrot) program to reward those who agree to brave Houston on two wheels instead of four. Three bikes will be available as loaners for students with cars, and a special storage unit on the complex will house all the bikes.More power to ya - literally and figuratively. We hear those Houston summers can be brutal, but what do we know?
Bike Walk Twin Cities, a federally funded program in Minnesota, recently gave bike-sharing a major jump start. 1,000 bikes will be available at over 75 different locations in Minneapolis for citizens, tourists, anyone in need of wheels around town. Also as part of the program, the University of Minneapolis, established a U of M Bike Center to establish a biking presence on campus. Part of the program includes a new Radio Frequency ID on each bike, which keeps track of mileage for the user.
Towson University is rolling out a smorgasbord of green transportation options as part of the campus sustainability plan. If enough students can get on board, school officials hope, then they won't have to raise fees for parking permits and build more parking spaces in the campus garage. Instead, officials are promoting car sharing and are even developing a rental car program for students living on campus. A "rental fee" would include insurance, gas and maintenance and the cars would be loaned out on an hourly basis. All cars will be hybrids or electrics, and officials estimate that by taking advantage of this program, students can save up to $500 a month. For students living further away, additional shuttle routes will be added to encourage students to not drive to campus.
But that's not all. Students at Towson still get discounted MTA (public transportation) bus/rail passes and for those that agree to carpool, the school will give them four free parking passes that they can use at the local Towson Center. Worried you might be stranded if you don't bring your car to campus? Don't be - the campus offers a "Guaranteed Ride Home" program - where the school will reimburse up to $40 for cab expenses, a one day car rental with Enterprise or a car-sharing vehicle will be available. Sounds like a win-win to us.
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