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UA bike sharing program quick and convenient

UPDATE: Scott, in the comment section if this post, lamented that the bikes can’t be checked out after 4 p.m. I emailed Bill Davidson who says that because they don’t provide lights for the bikes, they want to have the bikes checked out during the day. He did say they are planning to extend the hours.

Of course the no lights thing does not actually prevent people from riding the bike at night. A bike could be checked out at 4 and ridden all night without lights.

I also asked about how many people have checked out the bikes and Davidson said since school has resumed on average between six and seven bikes are being checked out each day.

The University of Arizona launched a small bike sharing program in November. The aim of the program is to encourage people to ride rather than drive when making short trips from campus.

The program started with 10 bikes, but, “I think there are plans to expand,” Bill Davidson the UA Parking and Transportation marketing manager said.

Check out the video I shot of the checkout process and the bikes:

TucsonVelo.com: University of Arizona bike sharing program from Mike McKisson on Vimeo.

The program is open to UA students and employees.

The bikes are located in the Tyndall Avenue and 6th Street parking garages. They can be checked out by filling out this form at the cashier’s office in the garage.

There are no fees associated with the program unless you keep the bike longer than 24 hours or if you lose the lock, key or the bike itself.

Davidson said the project cost between $3,000 and $4,000 to start, which included the bikes, locks, racks and other miscellaneous items.

They don’t yet have a solid figure on how often the bikes are being used because of the month-long holiday break. But according to the cashier I checked the bike out from, they have gotten a lot of use.

“The people that have used it, love it,” Davidson said. ” Seems like we have a lot of repeat customers.”

A Parking and Transportation employee is responsible for checking the bikes each day to make sure they are in good shape.

According to Davidson, they haven’t had any bikes stolen or had any major mechanical issues.

They are also considering making the process more electronic so users will no longer have to fill out the form each time they want to borrow one of the bikes.

More details about the program here

22 comments
Scott
Scott

Ladies need a step-through frame so their modestly volumnous petticoats don't drape over the top bar resulting in the indecent exposure of too much ankle?  :-) Yeah, I know - funny how some of the silliest gender driven habits just refuse to die long after the compelling reasons have gone away.

basketball shoes
basketball shoes

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Red Star
Red Star

"The biggest complaint I hear about why people continue to cling to driving in and paying the exorbitant parking ransom is that if they take the bus, they can’t leave campus for errands or lunch and get back in time." A sage observation that could be extended to autoculture and USA in general. These people are mentally scattered, frantic, and chaotic. The automobile runs cover for them...it simply doesn't occur to them to run errands efficiently and at another time and place or to pack (gasp, OMG) a simple lunch. They put a low value on their time and yours. One might say it's a status symbol. Go 'cats!

Red Star
Red Star

"The biggest complaint I hear about why people continue to cling to driving in and paying the exorbitant parking ransom is that if they take the bus, they can’t leave campus for errands or lunch and get back in time." A sage observation that could be extended to autoculture and USA in general. These people are mentally scattered, frantic, and chaotic. The automobile runs cover for them...it simply doesn't occur to them to run errands efficiently and at another time and place or to pack (gasp, OMG) a simple lunch. They put a low value on their time and yours. One might say it's a status symbol. Go 'cats!

Scott
Scott

Or it will get more people on the bus at least. The biggest complaint I hear about why people continue to cling to driving in and paying the exorbitant parking ransom is that if they take the bus, they can't leave campus for errands or lunch and get back in time.

Scott
Scott

Or it will get more people on the bus at least. The biggest complaint I hear about why people continue to cling to driving in and paying the exorbitant parking ransom is that if they take the bus, they can't leave campus for errands or lunch and get back in time.

Tucson Velo
Tucson Velo

Coghauler, I asked and he said they do plan on providing the lights. They are also going to start giving away lights when people register their bikes with the UA. Red Star, I think you are probably right about it not helping with parking. I suppose it could eventually encourage a few people who have ridden on one of the UA bikes to try commuting by bike, but probably not a lot of them. It probably does eliminate some auto trips by people who have already parked on campus and want to get lunch off campus or run an errand. It will be interesting to see who is using it. I'll try to follow up in a few months and get some more actual numbers and hopefully more detail on the riders.

Tucson Velo
Tucson Velo

Coghauler, I asked and he said they do plan on providing the lights. They are also going to start giving away lights when people register their bikes with the UA. Red Star, I think you are probably right about it not helping with parking. I suppose it could eventually encourage a few people who have ridden on one of the UA bikes to try commuting by bike, but probably not a lot of them. It probably does eliminate some auto trips by people who have already parked on campus and want to get lunch off campus or run an errand. It will be interesting to see who is using it. I'll try to follow up in a few months and get some more actual numbers and hopefully more detail on the riders.

Red Star
Red Star

It would be interesting to know who is using this program. (The data should be easy to pull and aggregate from the form) If program users live on campus (as in dorms and surrounding neighborhoods), then are they not simply substituting biking for what they used to do, i.e. walking? There's nothing wrong with that as far as it goes and it can be a part of the educational experience for these people that may pay benefits later on. But isn't the main problem with UA, when it comes to transpo, getting to campus and where to put the damn automobile? Red Star isn't seeing how the program addresses that one.

Red Star
Red Star

It would be interesting to know who is using this program. (The data should be easy to pull and aggregate from the form) If program users live on campus (as in dorms and surrounding neighborhoods), then are they not simply substituting biking for what they used to do, i.e. walking? There's nothing wrong with that as far as it goes and it can be a part of the educational experience for these people that may pay benefits later on. But isn't the main problem with UA, when it comes to transpo, getting to campus and where to put the damn automobile? Red Star isn't seeing how the program addresses that one.

Coghauler
Coghauler

For the future then, will the University supply lights or require proof of personal light ownership for after hours riding to be compliant?

Coghauler
Coghauler

For the future then, will the University supply lights or require proof of personal light ownership for after hours riding to be compliant?

Scott
Scott

Maybe once they achieve "making the process more electronic" they could just leave the keys with the cashier - or perhaps they prefer to discourage people from taking them home overnight. I could see how this might be abused as more people realize they can check one out every night and never get around to buying their own bike.

Scott
Scott

Maybe once they achieve "making the process more electronic" they could just leave the keys with the cashier - or perhaps they prefer to discourage people from taking them home overnight. I could see how this might be abused as more people realize they can check one out every night and never get around to buying their own bike.

Tucson Velo
Tucson Velo

Scott, I was wrong. I went to ask if I could check out a bike this evening on my way home. Turns out the PTS office comes by at 4 to lock them up. I'll email Bill Davidson to find out why.

Tucson Velo
Tucson Velo

Scott, I was wrong. I went to ask if I could check out a bike this evening on my way home. Turns out the PTS office comes by at 4 to lock them up. I'll email Bill Davidson to find out why.

Scott
Scott

It's a shame they close at 4 - I was thinking that this would be a good back-up way to get home for those of us who come out at the end of the day (typically W A Y past 4) to discover our own bike has been stolen.

Scott
Scott

It's a shame they close at 4 - I was thinking that this would be a good back-up way to get home for those of us who come out at the end of the day (typically W A Y past 4) to discover our own bike has been stolen.

Tucson Velo
Tucson Velo

I bet a bunch of the people who say, "I'd do that if these things were to change," would come up with some other excuse once their conditions have been met. It is clear more people will find other ways to get around when driving becomes more difficult and or expensive. The high gas prices showed us that. I wonder how many bike commuters were lost when the UA decided not to raise the parking rates.

Tucson Velo
Tucson Velo

I bet a bunch of the people who say, "I'd do that if these things were to change," would come up with some other excuse once their conditions have been met. It is clear more people will find other ways to get around when driving becomes more difficult and or expensive. The high gas prices showed us that. I wonder how many bike commuters were lost when the UA decided not to raise the parking rates.

Tucson Velo
Tucson Velo

I bet you could check them out after 4. As long as there is a person at the cashier's office, they will probably still check it out, but I guess I wouldn't depend on it.

Tucson Velo
Tucson Velo

I bet you could check them out after 4. As long as there is a person at the cashier's office, they will probably still check it out, but I guess I wouldn't depend on it.