The university continues to promote sustainable transportation options to the campus community through its bicycle rental program, Blue Bikes.
Four new bicycles were added to the program resulting in a total of 34 bikes available to staff, faculty and students. Rates begin at $5 for a daily rental, $10 for the weekend and $75 for the semester. The bicycles feature a “blue bike” decal, and are available at Outdoor Adventures at 336 Hill Street.
Operated by Outdoor Adventures within Recreational Sports, the program was developed in collaboration with Parking & Transportation Services, the Office of Campus Sustainability and the University Planner’s Office.
“It’s been a smooth first year for the program,” said John Swerdlow, assistant director of Recreational Sports. “There wasn’t much wear and tear on the bikes, and we experienced a high demand for semester rentals right from the start of the program.”
Swerdlow also noted the ability of Outdoor Adventures to accept short codes making the rental process easy for university departments interested in renting a Blue Bike to have on hand for their staff to use to get to meetings across campus.
The Central Student Government provided the funding for the additional four bicycles that were added to circulation in the winter semester.
Routine maintenance for the Blue Bikes is provided by Outdoor Adventures, and the unit continues to offer bike maintenance clinics to the campus community through a partnership with Common Cycle, a community-based, bike repair organization founded by U-M students.
Several bicycle amenities were installed in the fall to provide the infrastructure to support increased biking on campus, including: additional bike racks; two public air pump stations; and a “fix it” station near the Central Campus Transit Center where cyclists can access available tools for quick repairs.
Campus bicyclists also have the option of renting a space in the enclosed bike storage facility located on the south side of the Thompson Street parking structure. The secured facility has the capacity for 50 bicycles and an air compressor available for use at no additional charge.
In March 2012 the League of American Bicyclists named the university a Bike Friendly University; one of four universities in Michigan, and 58 campuses nationwide, to receive the designation.
The Blue Bikes rental program meets recommendations outlined in the Campus Sustainability Integrated Assessment, a two-year project led in partnership by the Graham Sustainability Institute and OCS that resulted in a report and helped define the university’s goals for advancing campus sustainability.
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