Bike share program relaunched for spring

Amber Levenhagen, Bike share

The relaunch of the Bike Share Program moved the bicycles location outdoors near the University Center. Photo by Amber Levenhagen.

By Maddy Scheel

April 27, 2016

Now that Spring has come, Whitewater Student Government (WSG) is relaunching their Bike Share Program.

The relaunch of the program took place on April 19 after it had taken a hiatus during the winter months.

The program was started by former WSG Sustainability Director and UW-Whitewater alumni Sarah Bregant and was passed down to the successor senior Nehemiah Chinavare.

The bike share program will continue to be a seasonal service each year, Chinavare said.

“It is something that is going to be a continual thing on campus,” Chinavare said. “It was down over the winter, so that will be something that will be launched every spring and run from spring, summer [and] fall.”

The funding for this program comes from a sustainability grant of over $7,000. The grant made it possible to purchase the 20 bikes currently in rotation and the equipment that is needed to go with them, such as helmets and locks.

The bikes are located near the University Center, with the former Williams Center location being eliminated from the program.

Students can check out the bikes from the University Center or Connect UWW, and return them within 10 days.

“People might not rely on the bikes for a permanent form of transportation, since you can only check them out for a week, but if you get used to biking, you might be more likely to then make the effort to bring your own bike or take your bike more,” UW-W Sustainability Coordinator Wesley Enterline said.

The purpose of the program is to give people another form of transportation. People who rent the bikes can take them anywhere within the city.

“We would have less cars driving to campus by people who live in Whitewater, especially. There are some people that live by campus that drive to campus rather than walk or take a bike, so we hope to reduce the amount of traffic on campus and improve the environment,” said Enterline.

The program is expected by Whitewater Student Government to be more successful than last spring, with logistical measures in place to try to increase the program’s popularity.

The bikes were purchased from Quiet Hut Sports, located in downtown Whitewater.

Maintenance of the bikes is done by the Campus Security Officers and police services. However, students who rent the bikes and damage them will be fined to fix the damages.

“I think that an ongoing concern for us will be maintenance,” Enterline said. “If we aren’t charging for the service, there will be no revenue coming in for maintenance. It will be dependent on late fees, so if the bikes don’t hold up over the long term, the costs might go up for replacing or repairing them.” says Enterline.

Chinavare sees the program becoming more “self-sustaining” as time passes.

“I do think that it will be a lot more successful than it was last year, and I hope it continues and we can buy more bikes, better bikes and continue to implement better systems to manage the program,” Chinavare said.

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