Bike share rolls into UVM

The Bicycle Users Group (BUG) program that lets students borrow bikes from three locations on campus started on April 12, BUG coordinator and UVM senior Dan Yablonsky said. With the help of adviser John Abbott, BUG has been working on the bike share program since the fall of 2009, Yablonsky said. “It’s a slow-moving process,” Abbott said. “It’s frustrating. It happens a lot more slowly than they would like to see.” Even though the program is running now, he said that the group ran into some problems during the developmental phase. “One of the challenges for them has been students really getting fired up and coming up with a great idea and then they start bumping into administrative formalities,” Abbott said. Seventeen bikes and helmets have been purchased and are available for student use, Yablonsky said. “Three hubs, which are like centers, will hold the bikes. One right outside of the Davis Center, one outside of McAulley on Trinity and one outside of Simpson,” President of BUG Jesse Simmons said. The first two hours are free after signing a waiver in the Davis Center and after that it’s a dollar per hour and five overnight, he said. “We don’t want to raise money, we just want to get the bikes back,” Simmons said. He said that BUG has been motivated by the drive to provide a human-powered transportation option for students for free. This isn’t just an option for the academic year. Bikes will be available for usage in the summer, too, Simmons said. “All the hubs are going to be brought to the Davis Center,” he said. “You can check the keys in and out through the front desk at ResLife and through the desk by the pool tables in the Davis Center.” BUG is also working on an on-campus bike repair center in hopes of increasing the use of bikes throughout the campus, Abbott said. “Most students have a bike. The reason why they don’t use them is snow, or it breaks, and it’s an inconvenience to take it downtown to fix,” he said. Members said they hope this will have a positive effect on the UVM community, Abbott said. “It brings the focus to fossil-free commuting,” he said. “It will hopefully turn into an educational tool — make students think about their own fossil fuel use.” The bikes have received a positive response, Yablonsky said. “I’ve seen some people cruising around,” he said.