Bike share program


Oakland Post archives

OUSC will implement a checkout system for the bikes.

Campus construction can be a major inconvenience during daily commuting. With gears turning in the Oakland University Student Congress office, an alternative medium of travel is likely to pump the breaks on the pain.

The OUSC is currently testing out a bike share program. Students may have already noticed the rack of bicycles outside of Kresge Library. Students can visit the circulation desk inside and, upon signing a waiver, use their Grizzly ID cards and check out a key to unlock a bike.

Students are expected to return the bicycles. Although it seems self-explanatory, the issue of bikes not being returned was a motivator in shutting down the school’s previous attempt at a bike share.

“Some were found in Ohio and Grand Rapids,” said Lena Mishack, OUSC’s student body president.

The previous program was implemented by the recreation and wellness center. Students were allowed to use the bikes for the year as long as they returned the bikes.

“It was more of a traditional bike share, where you didn’t have to check out anything. You could just hop and a bike and ride it to another rack based on the honor system,” Mishack said.

Mishack says, although its decline is unfortunate, it’s a good thing the previous program happened at all because the bikes from it were donated to OUSC from the recreation and wellness center and are being used for the new program.

“We wanted to make it very clear that they are OU bikes so we got them painted black and gold [by a student],” She said.

While the bike share program is a fun and active way to get around campus, OUSC is working with Dean Weiter of Kresge to devise a foolproof checkout system. Although OUSC supplies helmets and encourages safety on the bikes, they have already had an issue with a student getting injured.

“From what we understand, someone checked out a bike with their ID and it turns out that the person, who checked out the bike wasn’t the person who got hurt so it looks like he might have just let someone else use it,” Mishack said.

Austin Church, environment, health and wellness director at OUSC, designed the Grizzly ID card checkout system.

“Obviously we don’t want people getting hurt on the bikes and any sign that there’s a chance students could get hurt, we’re going to reevaluate everything,” Church said.

Moving forward, OUSC has partnered with Trek Bicycle Store in Pontiac to repair the eight bikes in front of Kresge.

“They’re going to take all of the bikes back to their shop and take a look at them and tune them all up,” He said.

Depending on the outcome of conversations with housing, OUSC is hoping to put another rack with eight more bikes there too.

“I think if we get a lot of users riding these bikes, I’d like to see it expanded to more locations and maybe more bikes at those locations as well,” Church said. “Michigan State has a system of ten bikes at four different locations. Forty bikes. I think that’s a good goal.”