Bike share program rolls on

With the launch of Oakland University’s bike share program, students now have a healthy way of getting around campus quickly.

The OU Bike Share Kickoff took place Thursday outside the Oakland Center between North and South Foundation halls. Hosted by Student Congress, the main event was the inaugural bike ride, where OUSC legislators and faculty members rode together.

“It’s a lot more healthy than getting into your car and driving from building to building,” said Anthony Ivone, a student legislator.

OU’s departments of Housing, Student Affairs, OUSC and the president’s office, who also funds it, sponsor the program. There are currently 34 bikes, which are all labeled with a yellow “Oakland University Bike Share” sticker and equipped with horns. Half of the bikes are expected to soon have basket.

Twenty of the bikes were purchased from Livernois Bike Shop in Detroit and the rest were picked up by OU’s Housing department and refurbished by Livernois.

“They knew it was an eco-friendly wellness program so they worked with us on costs,” said Glenn McIntosh, dean of students. The bike shop will also be visiting campus to repair bikes when necessary.

There are plans to furnish 60 bikes, but the administration wants to see a demand before increasing the supply.

“If the demand is there, we’ll keep adding more,” McIntosh said.

All bikes have a number stamped onto the top of the handlebars and are registered with OUPD. Bikes are free for students to use and will be operating under the honor system, which will be monitored by two student employees.

The bike monitors, who will work under the Sustainability Outreach Peer Educator program, will ensure even distribution of the bikes throughout campus — so there aren’t 20 bikes in front of the Oakland Center and none in front of Varner Hall — and document needed repairs.

Bikes will be parked at bike racks throughout campus and stored during the winter. The program includes seven more bike rack locations.

Erica Moorer, SOPE supervisor, hopes the program will prove to be effective and therefore expanded.