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New USF bike program to allow for easier sharing

Published: Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Updated: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 01:01

 

When it comes to environmentally friendly transportation, perhaps the community should pedal backwards.

Students who walked by the Library on Monday afternoon may have seen a crew filming a commercial that claimed bicycles are the latest progressive mode of transportation.

USF’s Patel College of Global Sustainability aims to make USF a green campus through Bike Share, a free community program that will give students more convenient access to bikes. 

Shawna Neckar, program coordinator for the Office of Sustainability said that kiosks stationed around campus will allow students to borrow and return bikes to any of the several locations around campus.

 “If a student goes from the Marshall Center to the Library, they don’t have to worry about returning it (back to the Marshall Center),” she said.

Neckar also said students do not have to directly pay to use the bikes, because the project is funded via the Student Green Energy Fund. 

However, she said there might be a fee for faculty and staff. 

Students can use a smartphone app that monitors the availability of every bike in the program to reserve one.

Following the implementation of the citywide program that was announced earlier this week, the USF bikes won’t be aqua blue as they are throughout the rest of Tampa, they’ll be green and gold. 

Eric Trull, a marketer of Bike Share and USF graduate, demonstrated the program in the commercial. 

Posed next to an official Bike Share bicycle, Trull pulled out a cellphone and spoke into the camera.

“Reserving a bike is simple. Just get your pin number from the mobile app. When you get to the bike, enter your pin and the bike will unlock (from the bike rack),” he said, straddling the bike.

 “And just like that, you’re on your way,” Trull said, as he pedals away.

Kebreab Ghebremichael, an assistant professor at the College of Global Sustainability, said the ultimate goal reaches beyond bikes. 

“We want to make USF the most sustainable campus,” he said. 

Bike Share at USF has been a project nearly a year in the making. Last summer, USF’s Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) reached out to Bike Share about bringing the program to USF. 

Trull says the program should be fully implemented within six months.

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