The Bike-Share Program at SU is Finally a Very Real Reality
In case you didn’t hear or see, SU started a new bike-share program on campus Monday the 26th. The program has been in the works since 2013, and finally became a reality thanks to Syracuse University’s Student Association. This is an exciting new addition to our campus, but are there some down sides? Let’s explore how the program works, and its pros and cons.
There are 10 incredibly orange bikes to be rented for up to 24 hours with an SUID out of the Student Center and Programming Services office in Schine 228D. Students have to sign an agreement before taking a bike, which comes with a U-bolt lock, a light, and a basket, but unfortunately no helmet. In the office, you can pick up materials provided by SA and DPS regarding bike safety and road rules. The bikes come from Mello Velo bike shop (http://www.mellovelobicycles.com/) on Westcott St., who will be doing maintenance weekly.
Most importantly: They are FREE to rent.
Why this is awesome:
Bike-share programs are popping up all over the globe, for cities and campuses alike, it was only a matter of time before SU hopped on that bandwagon. One of the major benefits of bike-share programs is the positive environmental impact, as biking reduces our dependence on non-renewable fuel. Basically, you can feel like a good person while biking. As someone who hates the gym—since I can’t stand seeing just about everyone I didn’t want to see—biking is a great alternative to improve physical health, and pedal past people too fast to ever make awkward eye contact. What seems especially great about this program is that it helps students move away from operating under the idea that Syracuse is a place with only the worst weather, by encouraging everyone to spend some more time outside. There are numerous nice days in the fall and spring in Central New York, when biking around in the sun will be wonderfully relaxing and fun.
Why this concerns me:
First of all, the bikes are bright orange, so it won’t be very subtle as I am embarrassing myself trying to ride up these hills. Secondly, yeah my travel time is shorter, but does this mean I show up to class sweaty? That really isn’t ideal. What I am truly skeptical about is if these bikes will last, and if students are able to stay safe. The bike comes with a U-bolt lock, and other security measures within the bike itself, but I wonder if (doubt) that will stop people from stealing the seats and wheels if they are really desperate. And not to sound like an overprotective parent: but how are people who have never really ridden a bike going to bike on the streets amongst cars without a helmet? Reading an “agreement” and “road rules” are like new iPhone updates: you skip the literature, press ‘agree’ and get straight to the goods—I’m just praying no one gets hurt. Overall, I think this is a great new addition to our campus that I am excited to take advantage of during the beautiful fall season (but not on the streets because frankly I’m terrified). Whether you don’t have a car, need some physical exercise, or want a new sunny afternoon activity, you should check out this new program. Best of luck to you all who test it out, and try your best not to crash!